Figure skaters make good neighbors
into sharp ones. The men who used
to mind their own beeswax now come
winter slice across the backyard
fence to watch the young girl next door
become the number eight
on the surface of the jury-
rigged ice rink her father made by
letting the hose pool the lawn
and leaving it freeze overnight.
They follow her through their windows
from their breakfast tables; they spy
her when they pull into the drive like pocketknives.
They imagine she invites them skating
and by god they feel more alive.

Melanie Janisse



Melanie Janisse is a native of Windsor, Ontario where she retained memories of old docks jutting out into the Detroit River and strange underground drives to her father's hometown of Detroit. Melanie began her education by leaving home early and wandering around the abandoned houses of inner-city Detroit, and then the intense forests of the Canadian West Coast. Melanie has resided in Toronto for the past eleven years, keeping active as a visual artist, poet, designer and shop owner. Her work has appeared in Luft Gallery, Common Ground Gallery, Artcite Gallery, Dojo Magazine, Pontiac Quarterly, The Scream Literary Festival, The Southernmost Review, The Mansfield Review, Gulch (Tightrope), and others. Her first book, 'Orioles in the Oranges' is published with Guernica Editions.