Two Poems

Julia Cohen

Sleep Disemboweled in This Forest

Halogen lights zigzagged the canopy like leaking stars. Nothing was dark enough. Lightening bugs lined the twig floor, the origami-leaf ants. Even my owl-nest glowed, caught in the experiment.

They installed new lighting like they took back the birthright they think is theirs. I stayed awake for 47 hours and now my pinky is someone else's pity. I couldn’t recover the history of a single fawn.

Even without shadow it fed in the corner like a novel or hospital gown. A sandbox overturned with a kick. A handful of poppies and their headless row. So my eyes flitted to their hub, 100 prongs at the tip of a giant extension cord. And then the bucket of water you keep at your feet. What is worse than a half-gesture.

I misunderstood that there was an external. Those who cause damage mistake the external for an object, or two lungs surrounded by a human they do not breathe for. My tidalpool, my blanket cooling on the floor, the flat ring of a wintry planet I rest on my collar. My inner blink, your outer knee.

You must complete your gestures. I'm the width of the holes in your stocking. And then a boom that brings that half-light back. Some breathing slows with relief or sleep or a better tactic. To blot out an unflinchable face, sadder than pity.

Organs of speech, a stranger potential. Between animal grace and the color photograph. Thank you, stomach-heart.

You’ve Handed Me Something That Will Never Dry

I’ve lived in almost every room
                      but it’s hard to match               the color              
of your missing piece.

The barn door is a table               I read over.

My undercoat               a cluster of photographs
                      I kept from the fire.

If I took the museum’s view you would be wood-
                      cut & staring back.

Scrape of a vintage empire               wax & cola.
How do I explain hiding in the lumberyard
                      cloth on your knuckles.

Your chemical form rises               in the photograph.

I’ve just started mine.               Tree-turret.
                      Radio germs on a stack of cracked tires.

Were you stained               for the same reason.

Here is the beauty of using wax
                      And you,               finished of any age.

My barn glows               not on fire               not of glass.

Julia Cohen has 6 chapbooks out or forthcoming from horse less press, H_NGM_N B__KS, and Small Fires Press (w/ Mathias Svalinia), Dancing Girl Press, Transmission Press (w/ MS), and Greying Ghost (w/ MS). She lives deep in Brooklyn and you can visit her here.