Marcia Cohee



So it’s Thursday already.  Thursday,
with its dim light and cigarette smoke
and nail parlors where people like us
have forgotten Van Gogh’s mad France
of wheat fields and crows
and heavy midnight skies,
though the picture is right there,
on the wall, above us.
And we tap dance through war
the same way
because people like us
have forgotten war too, this
shadow calling upon birds
we do not name, upon dinosaurs
unfeathered in the heat of space.
Even the sand, forgetful sand, blows
as we crawl the night home.
I can hear tap shoes
and see the ballet underneath
it all, soundless
as a knife through water.

Lozenge on the mind.
Trains, bridges
where we used to wait, 
drowned for love, or not.
The coming apart of things:
faith, a stone, simmering.
Raise it to a boil, this soup
of numb belief.

Our daughters
practice their hearts’ ballet.
Chairs on the balcony
are a little Paris, a little Saigon.
A fan cuts
through the light
which shimmers
on its blades,
and we chat next door
in the nail salon,
generations away
from desperate boats and bicycles.
Generations with no memory
ahead of the moon.

Date of Birth: November 2, 1949
Location: Aliso Viejo, California
Occupation: Teacher at Learning Tree University in Costa Mesa, CA
Books: Sexual Terrain, Laguna CanyonWas Once a River, Bonefire, Eurydice, The Dead, Improvised Night, Still Life, It's Hard to Leave the Night Alone
Other: MFA from University of Massachusetts

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