What Rough Beast | Poem for February 22, 2017

Irene Cooper

right over left, arched sense
left over right, ripple thru toes
time to hold fast underwater

in a crack of callous
blue subway map
heads uptown in search of a heart
1000 lie(s) in a locked box

journey of 1000 miles
one step
lock step
step livelytime to dig a diamond, then loose it

rich veins clog with fat or something
stop the flow
time to pull a child through the current
time to hold to another like you

til your pulse goes unanswered

purple be the mountains majesty or
rage too big for its shoes
wearing everything but ambition


Irene Cooper lives, writes, and cooks in Oregon, is a fierce advocate for public school, arts curricula, accessible health care, any available toilet, and the popular vote, among other things. She believes that language is imperfect, and so, miraculous.

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