j e n n y    c o o k s o n


On the Obstinancy of Stone

Attachment to Landscape

Month of the Nomad

On the Obstinancy of Stone


Are we really going to     debate       whether we sleep        in sage     or turquoise?
                        I am alone on the balcony     wondering which paintbrush you'll use when
the bedroom wall needs     ornamentation    when               white is     no longer good enough.
            The railing is cool beneath    fingerprints        I leave them here
            the measure of plants long since bloomed
                                     there is no oxygen here.        What    besides the   landscape of
                        parking lots     gave me such       hope?     I'll leave the
                          slaughtering of        the babies to you.



Regarding       the annulment of       hair follicles:
I would not be       bald if you     pulled each
                     strand from my head           I would be marble     
and possessed      of the most horrifying          smoothness.
I would live           on the balcony
                     your gargoyle           your love
even if        you painted     the bedroom a deep      eggplant and
drew constellations from     your freckles so
you wouldn't have to come outside           and touch
             my       moonmilk skin.


Attachment to Landscape

"The road-jungle edge was not the edge I had anticipated."
—Ellen Meloy, The Anthropology of Turquoise

The world layers itself in shades of mossy
                     skin.  As folds pull away from the membrane beneath,

            a cross-section becomes a moment     stilled
in taxonomy: here is the blue           of the beginning and here—
                     the citron of diplomacy.

Higher still the peat of envy and the brackish midnight of
too much too late.                   And each layer

separated by a thin line—

not red, but a docile gray and       not the gatekeeper.
            But if it were red, there would be        no bleeding, and what

is an edge if not latent and full of shrouded promise?


Month of the Nomad


ladder on a smooth floor carved as
                                    choir gallery ascending

the architects move first
            feet knifing the wood in precise pin scores

the legion follows

six feet by six contiguous steps by       one million metasomi

and weeks of night
            movement mass of dark bodies proceed

as metrics as method

consuming those brittle giants in the path
            for the village

            that waits each year though this

is not their object


JENNY COOKSON has just completed her MA in Creative Writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she was the poetry editor for Square One Literary Journal. She was previously an assistant editor at Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group. Her work has appeared in Five Fingers Review, Red Chair, Shove, and Notre Dame Review, and she was recently nominated for the Iron Horse Review Discovered Voices Award.