KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 10: Fall 2018
Poem: 223 words [R]

Of Longing

by Jack Cooper

Slouched in your still dark room
you hear the engine of morning
a leaf blower and a broom
two sounds two generations two cultures
and consider that the world looms
ugly or boring or mean until we listen
that no one loves us until we look up

Outside it’s a gray day eclipsed of meaning
and you can’t remember if you’re happy or lost or rich
though it’s possible to believe we only die of longing

You wander oily streets to the water
and gather shells and driftwood
to make a mobile from life forms
that can no longer move on their own
and imagine you understand
why some beings appear more beautiful in death

You brush your fingers across a clump of dried sponge
and wonder if the earth’s first communities are disappearing
squeezed to death by our refusal to share paradise
and you think of the dying little boy
who was afraid he’d never see his mom again
and asked if he could meet her someday
in the far left corner of heaven

You return to your garden and notice
that the lemon tree is blooming months out of season
reminding you of Cézanne
who once took so long to finish a still life
that one of the onions he was painting sprouted
and he had to add leaves


—2017 Grand Prize Winner in the annual Crosswinds poetry contest, and first published in Volume 2 of Crosswinds Poetry Journal (2017); appears here with author’s permission

Site contains text, proprietary computer code,
and graphic images that are protected by:

⚡   Many thanks for taking time to report broken links to: KYSOWebmaster [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡