Published on Academy of American Poets (

In the dark we crush

crab apples for the sound of it. Light cannot
be bitter. The backyard licks us.

Blue like kindling, the fox we caught with
a shoebox. Your shirt is a constellation

in the tent of recovery. If you release the hand
you relax the animal. Bookshelves hold up

the moon. I sweep your fur into a feeling.
I put you into my memories on purpose.

Moss smuggles stars into your cheeks.
Inside your body’s future, bravery turns to pulp.

The flashlight pendulum. Your face sounds like that
record player. Electric & spinning.

Let’s grow old together. Don’t be scared
of Gertrude Stein. Be brave.


Copyright © 2014 by Julia Cohen. Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“Maybe this is a love poem that tries to navigate how to bring someone into your life that hasn’t been a part of your complex past. Maybe it’s a poem that tries to make a home outside of the typical domestic space, somewhere between the backyard and the forest. It is a poem that takes a risk in asking you to collaborate in being consciously open to uncertainty."

Julia Cohen


Julia Cohen

Julia Cohen is the author of I Was Not Born (Noemi Press, 2014). She teaches at Wright College and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Date Published: 2014-12-12

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