In the beginning,
Aphrodite held my eyes in her palms
and showed me the sight of you.
Upon my life’s wakening,
my imaginings—my blind visions—
led me in my search for you.
And since that day of wakening,
I’ve walked the deserts nearly 40 times
and waded through every sea.
Every tear of mine—
of madness or despair—
has been shed for you.
I weep and lust drips from my eyes.
I’m left with a guiltless love,
with childish sincerity.
And I ask, “Has there been a woman fairer?
Has the earth ever been so in love
so as to make such a beauty?”
Further I lament, “I’m in love, dear father,
With she born from your lea,
from your bed of grass and roses.”
As the flowers wilt,
The world weeps with me,
and life dies with the absence of my love.
Speak to me,
in any form or tongue.
Come to me, and meet my eyes.
JOELLE LEPAGE is a third-year student at Queen’s University. She has been writing steadily since high school and most of her work centres on love and desire, particularly between women. She continuously looks for ways to experiment with language and references.
We would like to begin by acknowledging the Indigenous Peoples of all the lands that we are on today. While we meet today on a virtual platform, we would like to take a moment to acknowledge the importance of the lands, on which we each call home. We do this to reaffirm our commitment and responsibility in improving relationships between nations and to improve our own understanding of local Indigenous peoples and their cultures.
York University’s land acknowledgement may not represent the territory that you are currently on, and we would ask that if this is the case, you take responsibility to acknowledge the traditional territory that you are on and its current treaty holders.
York University acknowledges its presence on the traditional territory of many Indigenous Nations. The area known as Tkaronto has been care taken by the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron-Wendat. It is now home to many First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities.
We acknowledge the current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This territory is subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement to peaceably share and care for the Great Lakes region.
From coast to coast to coast, we acknowledge the ancestral and unceded territory of all the Inuit, Métis, and First Nations people that call this land home. Please join us in a moment of reflection to acknowledge the effect of residential schools and colonialism on Indigenous families and communities and to consider how it is our collective responsibility to recognize colonial and arrivant histories and present-day implications in order to honour, protect, and sustain this land.
In recognizing that these spaces occupy colonized First Nations territories and out of respect for the rights of the Indigenous people, please look for, in your own way, to engage in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.