Andrea Cohen

Memory Foam

Why stop there?
I want memory

underwear and a memory
chair. The stair

should be a memory
stair, wherever I

appear should remember
me, and you, when

we first meet, since
you’ve been laboring—

I guess—like the rest
of us, as a memory

apprentice, can step
inside my undulations.

Come, remind me
why we bend.

Shag

Carpet grew its hair
out in the seventies.

The green shag was grass
that had snuck inside,

the midnight blue
shag a sky fallen asleep.

That’s where I fell
deeply too, dreaming

through the invisible
lift and carry into

the upper bunk. Oh,
the lunar landing,

oh, the footfall
of fathers and mothers.

The Best of It

From my tears I build
a water park, complete
with chutes and ladders.
With my open
wounds I construct
a construction site.
Men passing can’t
but linger at the capacity
of my vacant spaces.
My scream inspires
the city’s early
warning system.
My scars are the blueprint
for the underground
transit system, and the steady
entreaties of my heart I’ve
parlayed into lucrative
demolition music. Of course,
I’m anonymous and let
strangers tug me, wish-
bone like, two ways.
One can only pray,
inside that splintering,
that their dreams
be complimentary.

At the Proust House

Hemlock is for sissies.

Toughs like us
pinch madeleines
from the corner store.

We down them
by the fistful, with
or without a chaser.

There is no garden
path approached we
won’t go down again.

There I am, standing
at the door, where mother
bathes, where she applies

eye-liner for the last time.
For one more
memory, I’d snap

the hemlock branch myself.