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Carter Vance

Carter Vance is a writer and poet originally from Cobourg, Ontario, Canada currently resident in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. His work has appeared in such publications as The Smart Set, Contemporary Verse 2 and A Midwestern Review, amongst others. He was previously a Harrison Middleton University Ideas Fellow. His latest collection of poems, Places to Be, is currently available from Moonstone Arts Press.

False Negatives

The swipe-swabs go over
back-of-hand skin again,
alcohol tang, alkaline light,
swimming through the bow-break
long stretch of sunny skies
I sometimes spy through

Windowpanes and cutting blinds,
days that pass as punch-up
puppets, characters unreal.

I sat in bright rooms,
clean places with clipboards,
pens tapping off ID
laminate while I waited for words
to come in ways that didn’t

Echo off me, blank and borne-out,
when I’d know victory at last,

Standing up to cross-hued sunshine
in the flipped over tape decks

What mom said was best
about me when I was quiet:

The way I looked up at the
beeper machines and felt peace
with their starring light,

As we were one, in lonesome
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