John Bernard Bourne

Pieces of You

it was a hint of immortality
hidden in my room
pieces of you that
I kept for myself
uniforms of a time
viewed through subtle eyes
or the hole in the wall
from the arrow you gave me:
     —remember your name, my name, the look of the grandfather you never met; the accident in Muskoka—
   —do not trust a brother who abandons you; selling news on the street
and aprons at the door—
 there are pieces of you
 that I have hidden
 in the house
 that is no longer ours.
Pieces of Me

I am drunk in a bar
in some Asian country
having severed memories several nations back
I keep waking up in the
barren nights
not knowing where or who I am
grasping in the endless whisper
of my identity
like the unrooted Canadian
that I am
  The neon lights of this relentless carnival
  give me guidance, as truant and sordid as
  it may be
there was a blemish
on the wall, beside the sleeping mat
in the room of a Korean brothel
I was patronizing
I felt it in the darkness
and it was identical to the one
in my room
back home.    
Recollection (Sutton, 1987)
he showed me his tattoo
a Chinese symbol
signifying death, loss
and love
  For his brother
and parents, or some family tie
a needless, senseless thing
that had left him alone
but he smiled
 and told me
he was getting over it
 the beer helped a little

but my music was helping
the most on this night
 'would you play that one again...'

John Bernard Bourne is a Canadian writer who has had numerous fiction and non-fiction material published all over the world in magazines such as Macleans, Log In Seoul, Bywords, Canadian Content, etc. He can be contacted at



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