Beavers It’s not so far downstream of what we wanted. Adjacent hospital, adjacent primary, adjacent lawns, and lawns, and lawns and the foundry smoke obligingly discrete behind transplant maples, the city’s courtesy always coming downwind. Under the cretinism the brochures are wise. Never think of the neighbourhood you’ve been crowded from, they whisper. Then you’d have to think of everyone who’d love a chance to love this wallpaper. The agent’s freshly laundered shirt is the colour of foreign investment. Or just jealousy. Your needs, he says, are ordinary and therefore beyond reproach. You’ve worked for this. My face appears in someone else’s kitchen window half-obscuring the tiled magnet Dance like no one is In the canal beside the highway two of them are swimming with the current. We move to the slow lane to watch their flat tails kite under reflected clouds. One of them drags reeds for a lodge. They must have lost a better place to come here. Maybe not. Maybe the water’s cleaner than we thought. Then, some way back, a third appears, heading amiably in the same direction, as if to join the others. One of us, probably me, chirps about subversions of the couple-form in nature but what I’m really thinking of is pressure. The swollen lanes disgorge behind us. The priced-out friend will still be on your couch six months later.