"Evening Shift at the Gallery"
Margo LaPierre is a queer, bipolar Canadian poet and editor. Her debut collection, Washing Off the Raccoon Eyes, was published by Guernica Editions in 2017. She is newsletter editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, membership chair of the Editors Canada Ottawa-Gatineau branch, member of poetry collective VII, and a poetry selector for Bywords.ca. She is completing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Her work has been published (or is forthcoming) in The /temz/ Review, Room Magazine, filling Station, CAROUSEL, PRISM, Train, and elsewhere. She lives in Ottawa.
"Intuition (oil on canvas, 2003), by Canadian artist Eliza Griffiths, appears within this poem, which is set in a gallery. The subject of the poem and the subject of the painting both experience their alone time interrupted by someone who sees them deeply, whose gaze keeps coming back to them, and who seeks to possess them (or does possess them, as the owner of the painting also owns the subject of the painting). At its most basic level, this poem is about a person working the closing shift alone at a small gallery when an ex-lover walks in, someone with whom they were deeply involved, whose presence fills them with equal measures terror and desire. When that ex-lover bends over for a closer look at the Griffiths painting, our gallery worker feels just as caught as the subject in the painting."