Retire Mint – Bella Ellwood-Clayton

Your Gastown
boutiques and Fentanyl
8 a.m. cappuccinos with the art dealers
the other chosen familyless.

Your apartment
near the steam clock
smoking pot, because you’re retired now
each day, free
after single motherhood, cancer, failed businesses (3?)

Now that you’ve finally stopped breathing
My home is a day ahead.

I sleep when you wake
We cook in FaceTime
– your dinner, my breakfast –
but we never eat together.

What if you get sick again, Momma?
What if something happens and I’m not there?
Your wrist’s sore from playing guitar
I would kiss it with ice
make a sling with my umbilical chord.


Bella Ellwood-Clayton is an award-winning author and internationally acclaimed sexual anthropologist. She studied in Montreal, Canada, and completed a PhD on women’s sexuality at the University Melbourne, Australia. In 2012, her nonfiction book, Sex Drive: in Pursuit of Female Desire, was published with Allen & Unwin. She appears regularly on television and radio and give talks about love and relationships, including a TEDx talk. She will host The Science of Sex Drive on The Love Destination (global video-on-demand network partnering with Samsung for everything love, dating, and relationships, launching on 8 million devices in the US in early 2019). She has published short stories, poetry, and writes for publications such as Huffington Post and Daily Life.


Image via Pixabay


cabinet of heed contents issue 16

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