Rob Cook
When I rested between your legs,
a tunnel to the woods
beyond Hopatcong,

I counted the possums you slept with,
and the leaves soaked in vodka,

the pillows goring each other
as we checked the closets and the curtains
for your Salvation Army husband.

You shut down your eyes and your mouth
and I stayed warm on ginger ale,

the lights going limp
where I glued together the babies
you ripped out of a magazine known for its suffering.

A man kept dialing your answering machine
and mumbling about sadnesses
off the coast of New Guinea
until he lost track of his breathing
and turned back into silence.

The day I cut the sky from your bedroom window,
the late-winter species
slouched south from your shoulder,

the pleura that kept them warm
sticking to the chair's depths,
your ice animal watching the snow
getting weak on the long
TV commercials, the land's viscera
beginning to flicker, janitors
who left their skills inside you

on your endless explorations across the continent of March.

--- From Songs for the Extinction of Winter
Rob Cook
©2006 Rain Mountain Press
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