Death in Ohio
She is a whistle landing on a three-foot cube of snow,
Sucks the air through her cherry windpipe,
Waves a lantern past her face of roman numerals.
Gone, gone are the green horses
Whose footfalls softly ring in the grass.
What she’s loved, she’s laminated,
Tore the birth canal clear from a microchip
And sank backwards into an orange rectangle
Blazing with synthesis.
She has wasted what a simple hag has not,
A book of clocks, the minutiae of an apple
Rotting slowly on a wire bale of hay.
Someone can just pull you out
Of your car at any moment, I thought,
That day a very fat man stole my clothes
From the laundromat. I am piratical,
Filching limes from the positive monsters
That drink suds from the machines,
The bottom of my world dropping out
All the time. But the suds are a dowry,`
The insane sediment of this place
I inhabit, this nausea hockey I know,
Blending a hiss with a science.
I require one Diesel per hour,
A mixed drink of eagles and ice,
While stoned poets burn themselves up
In teleporters just to get to NY for a night.
The jeany blue sleeplessness of knees
Of an oversexed voice-major,
Is what I would add to the phrase,
They are no longer a sexual unit.
I bought a wedding present for a couple
I didn’t like. It was a tea set and two limes.
I said, many years of happiness, while dinner
Was served in brief clouded wisps.
I was subconsciously planning my own downfall,
A decent flowering zooming skyward, then falling,
Falling, “desiring to leave this place forever.”
The guard dog that doubles as a therapy dog
Barked fiercely in my direction
As if to remind me that this place I inhabit,
I think it’s very good.
Resurgence of the Purple
You love me 30% of what I love you
But that’s okay, we make music
Together, a barrage of trombones
And harps. Every night we go to sleep
With the angels, and every morning
We wake to a devil covered
In toothpaste, sitting in the blue chaise lounge.
There is a hairy cough drop I keep in my purse
To ward off the speakable joy of my
Self-proclaimed theosophy. The shimmery
Bugs of sunrise light on the tumult
Of new roses. They are caustic reminders
Of the contract I’ve taken out on my other
Life, the one where I wrote the letter in red
To the priest and placed in a tiny wheelchair
Full of Christmas greens. I am a nervous
Wastebasket now, cruelly spilling my bill
Stubs onto the steps of the children’s hospital.
Was I ever in there? Of course. It was me
And my friend with the secret handshake,
Who made use of my absence to remember
The chewing-gum we used to erase ourselves
From the violent lawn parties our foster
Parents used to throw. We loved those two
And when they spoke, really spoke to us,
They spoke in the perpendicular.
They taught us that if you lie down quietly
The morning sky is full of tea leaves,
The sunsets open like a postcard from the Keys,
The Devil always has the cleanest teeth.
Noelle Kocot, photo by Alex Halberstadt
Noelle Kocot has published two books of poetry, 4 and The Raving Fortune, from Four Way Books. Her next book, Poem for the End of Time and Other Poems, is forthcoming from Wave Books. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and her married name is ‘Tomblin’.
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