Poetry: Hutch by Kayla Penteliuk


I press my face into the leather

of your buttoned smoking jacket

reeling in Marlboros and whiskers,

buried in belief and cinders

incandescence this mid-winter


you are resplendent with some

inarticulate multitude

settling soft around my shoulders

transcendence moving sodden-shoed


the weathered peacock storm door:

tiny palms lengthen to meet the feathers,

windowsills lined with glittering treasures

golden frogs and rabbits,

a duck with an umbrella

“if it exists, I may well have it”


I find my likeness here, in the reflection,

never quite when I expect her

smaller, more vulnerable somehow

unsympathetic to the occasion


your pockets were bereft with offerings:

forgotten dimes

bookstore receipts

lemon-coloured spines

gentle apologies

you teach me to gather these laurels in armfuls

rest is for the wicked


“we collect antiques just to remember,” you whistle

I’m sorry that they won’t remember you.


but maybe –

if I write you out of the funeral pyre,

build you up like a brass-laden bird,

freed from morbid behind-glass yearning,

rising out of the ashes

buried in the fiction

of four unholy, bitter years


maybe then


they will dust you off

pull you out of the mahogany hutch

frame you neatly in a sun-drenched windowsill

exorcised from trepidation


your conviction is my vocation

this eulogy

the only curio worth keeping

Kayla Penteliuk is a musician, poet, and Ph.D. candidate in English Literature at McGill University in MontrĂ©al, Quebec. Her writing and research are inspired by her lifelong experiences with disability and chronic illness. Her poetry has appeared in Yolk and in media res. When she isn’t reading about witches for her dissertation, you can find her writing songs, playing guitar, and cultivating her balcony garden. She is currently working on an EP, set for release sometime in late 2023.


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