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January 23, 2024

2 Poems

Cole Henry Forster

2 Poems photo


The truth-harvester is waiting for me
on the arm of my destiny-soaked couch, commands me
to make a Christmas morning in her head, to stumble
and abuse Rimbaud in my post-collegiate French
while the washing machine
time travels our clothes back four hours
before we ruined them in the pool hall.
The same Maytag that held court
as a magistrate–divorcing blood from
the darkest towel
spread so ardently across my duvet to absorb
the bride-mark, the congested poinsettia.

And we have other names for M:
la professeure, la suisse.
We go to her when the walls of biology close meekly in,
when testosterone compels me to confront
taxonomy and beg again to know
the royal difference between a mouette and a goéland,
because I think the French have exaggerated
and I think when the Britons saw a gull
they were righteous in their refusal
to create two tribes, lest those birds
be tempted to rehearse a genocide
out in the harbour.



I am mauled by the gladness of it all,
by the foregone conclusion that you are happy,
by the spider-eye look and the smell
of your sweat on Adderall,
by your teething on my t-shirt,
a project
to bite me with those fangs dipped in
literature, the heart-rent forest of chords
you used to strum while I begged you
to play something else, less twee,
maybe the harp, something to which we might sing along,
the national anthem of a country
where we went on vacation
with little to do but massage each other
while the staff, making a dollar a day,
lamented our infatuation
because we were too busy being in love
to tip them properly and I felt bad about that
like how you feel bad when you know
you should hold the door for someone
walking behind you but you judge the distance
beyond the range of manners and the
sub drop of your rudeness hits
like a child's punch through your snow pants—
soft thud of inconsolable delight.