Compendium of Lost Objects
Not the butterfly wing, the semiprecious stones,
the shard of mirror,
not the cabinet of curiosities built with secret drawers
to reveal and conceal its contents,
but the batture, the rope swing, the rusted barge
sunk at the water’s edge
or the park’s Live Oaks you walked through
with the forbidden man
or the pink-shuttered house on the streetcar line
where you were married
or the green shock of land off I-10, road leading
you away from home.
Not any of this
but a cot at the Superdome sunk in a dumpster
and lace valances from a Lakeview kitchen where water
rose six feet high inside
and a refrigerator wrapped in duct tape lying
in the dirt of a once-yard
and a Blue Roof and a house marked 0 and a
kitchen clock stopped at the time the hurricane hit.
Because, look, none of this fits
in a dark wood cabinet for safekeeping.
This is an installation
—never seen again.
From Breach by Nicole Cooley. Copyright © 2010 by Nicole Cooley. Used by permission of LSU Press