Suzette Mayr's Monoceros

by Shaun Hunter

Calgary Through the Eyes of Writers

Chinook arch over Calgary in mid-winter  (Photo: Weather Network)

Chinook arch over Calgary in mid-winter  (Photo: Weather Network)

February, and the city is in the midwinter grip of “ice winds and mood flurries.” In Calgary’s northwest, a community reels after the suicide of a boy subjected to interminable homophobic bullying at his Catholic high school. The week before Patrick Furey takes his own life, a Chinook wind turns the air warm and fragrant. Patrick and Ginger, the boy he loves, come together in the cemetery halfway between their houses. Their meeting is a brief reprieve in “a winter that never ends.”


The dead boy and Ginger wrestled into scorching sex in the dead grass, hot enough to start a grass fire, their bodies flaring in the dark, in the middle of a February chinook, the smell of chinook wind and Ginger in his nose, Bed Head shampoo, blue wool sweater the dead boy pulled up over Ginger’s head, Ginger’s sweaty silky ribcage, flowery fabric softener from all six of the their shirts, Ginger’s tongue pushing bright as a meteor into the dead boy’s, Ginger’s nipples, the warm salt of him, behind a tombstone that said, Lél Somogyi Gone But Never Forgotten 1987-2004. Ginger’s torso naked and slick, dead grass and twigs sticking to his skin.


Suzette Mayr, Monoceros (Coach House Books, 2011)