The Trouble Department | Abby Hagler & Julia Cohen
Julia Cohen's most recent book is a hybrid collection of lyric essays, I Was Not Born (Noemi Press, 2014). Her other books are Collateral Light (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2014) andTriggermoon Triggermoon (Black Lawrence Press, 2011). She also translates Danish poetry (with Jens Bjering), which appears in places like The Fanzine, Six Finch, and Words without Borders.
Other days, I depopulate the planet by dinnertime
replace everyone with parakeets
if there are enough in supply
& watch them green the already-green bushes.
I cannot entirely foresee all the problems
this’ll solve & the problems it’ll create.
I wipe my hands on denim thighs, look
at the dirt under my nails & feel good about it.
Yes, your majesty, I say to the pines.
Yet my loyalties are far-reaching. They squirm
inside an apple core, lap at the base of the radio.
They lean toward where the feelings come from.
Applejax, outlets, desire, your ear perching on
the banister of childhood.
I’ll never correct your posture, which is
a color we need, like mixing two slushees together
at the 7/11. We crack sunflower seeds
between our teeth & try not to think
about the beaks of baby hummingbirds.
Other days keep quiet, a search-horse out
for riders, riders loosed from horses,
on all fours, stretching out more & more
like the horizon. All days are a litany of lost items
I forgot I loved. I forgot today
I was supposed to have coffee with you & you
I forgot to love. To hold gently by the hair
the green of your parakeet.
Sometimes, the husk of loyalty
keeps me in milky formation. Why is
orange the unspoken asexual color?
Why was your epaulette the center
of a feather? I try to repopulate
the world with its own mismatched parts—
plunk a bog down on the dining table,
jam those candy bars
into the hollow of a tree. Take off your
denim jacket, I’ll stitch desire along the seam.