I ran through the orchard until the apples
turned to peaches. My foolish hell lacked
the memorable. To the south: a woebegone
face of inertia. To the north: an empty chapel
and brownstones. I reached the graveyard
to cast a promise. The wilderness of nival ghosts
turned my eye’s body. I left regency behind
to live on a sandbar. Placed the dictionary
on a lamp-lit bible stand for my son to find.
My son will notice a spider made a home
in the mausoleum. If my son remembers
a soliloquy and previous obligation: footsteps.
Reentry will be recumbent and lackluster.
At auctions he will buy old houses and boats
to fill the tarn. He must bite the vital seed to see
what is lost at the cost of postage and gold leaf.
HELLO PEDESTRIAN, I HOPE
it's not too wind-torn
out there -- these shutters are
just for show. You have
the warmest bones I've ever
met. The woodpile is dwindling
while my androgyny is a perfect
child that cannot stack.
In the cluttered road, it is
an industrial maneuver
to threaten the neck when it
is the only flora found
upon us. Pedestrian, I mean
to tell you I keep forgetting
the hope I was hoping for.
When the grasses reclaim
the streets, the pedestrians
take to the woods. Luckily,
I hid the ax in the stem
of the factory's floral design.
Remind me how your bones
are warmer than kindling.
There is something living in these
lives I've not yet found.
JULIA COHEN is the marketing and development coordinator for Nightboat Books (who just published Fanny Howe's new book) and a fiction reader for Small Spiral Notebook. Her poems have been published in Can We Have Our Ball Back?, How2, Hanging Loose, GutCult, Boog City, Word For/Word and are forthcoming in Octopus, The Tiny, Aught, and Pindeldyboz.