Julia Cohen

1,000 Rooftops

I’ve never been the highest bidder so I ditch
my date for the auction how much for a prix fixe meal going once going twice
Aver an accident or coincidence find my confidence in the woodpile in the winter pool

Take the next train to the city warm my nose in your neck hide & seek in your hat
I’ve stashed notes in the patches of your pants tonight we’ll ski down the fire escape burn
a bonfire on our chests

Everyone antes in the queries are passed around the fans are turned on who collects
the questionnaire upon completion? Nothing’s ever neutral in our altitude

Coldfront warmfront mittens sprout mittens while ice cream melts down our backs
& who doesn’t have eyes frozen in headlights & climate

Somedays I’m giving my garden away others I lick the pantry for preserves I can’t kill my cactus even
when I try though when I need the needles you’ll know

No need to be a snow-pelter catapulter train-chaser to find the source
of high beams or push them out of the light

Call you in Philly to say grab me by my goddamn hair
So when gas prices rise blood pressures rise the oceans rise find me on 1,000 rooftops
securing the day’s catch

On television they always die in your arms
triggermoon triggermoon triggermoon

There Was a Bridge of Tattered Rugs

I've cut the rope-swing, carved scars in a tree
I've taken a glass bottle & shingled its sides
I've taken some velvet leg & tossed it in the gully of my bed
I've wasted quilt

A nightgown soaked in milk
The bassinet sleeping in the greenhouse
A boat-shaped spider crabbing the high corner
What have I done to this world

The fairness of snap peas
Did that sound leave me
I’ve tattered a rug to bridge the embankment
but the cry came from below

I’ve leeched from & leeched from
& left what I could no longer hold
No refuge is permanent
The human voice
Pelts of my name

Julia Cohen is pursuing a PhD in Poetry at the University of Denver. These poems are from Triggermoon Triggermoon (Black Lawrence Press, 2011).

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