White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
Andrea Cohen
Andrea Cohen is the author of the poetry collections The Cartographer’s Vacation (Owl Creek Press, 1999) and Long Division (Salmon Poetry, 2009). New poetry and fiction is out or forthcoming in The Atlantic Monthly, The Threepenny Review, Memorious, Glimmertrain, Salmagundi, Fulcrum, and the Zoland Annual. Cohen’s awards include a PEN Discovery Award and a Glimmertain prize for short fiction. She runs the Blacksmith House Reading Series and writes about marine research at MIT.
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Andrea Cohen

as balthus did


Where are we? I ask.

We’re driving in a boat

of an old, golden Buick

convertible, beside a slide

show of rippling lake.

We’re in a place

in the world, my friend says.

This is good to know.

I’m ignoring the road.

My friend, who is driving,

is also ignoring the road

somewhat, veering off as we talk.

We talk the way you can

in a foreign land, where

other people are white noise.

But we’re here, high and deep

in New England, in a sort of period

piece with saw mill and grist mill,

with the requisite river on which

the brick library appears



Andrea Cohen

to be floating. Given

its exposure, this spot took

the hit when the ice storm blew in.

Birches fly at half mast now,

their upper reaches hanging

kamikaze-like above the blacktop.

I’m feeling high and raw and

dangerous myself, confessing my bliss

as we drift past sheep, past lambs,

past the herd dog whose bark

asks: friend or foe? Friend, my friend,

friend. Near Cold Comfort Farm

we steer into the woods and find

a stash of fossilized beer cans

that might have fueled a talk

like ours fifty years back.

The vessels are crumbling, rusted,

seductive, empty only in

the conventional sense. We gather

them as we would exquisitely

plumed and injured birds.



Andrea Cohen

My friend says she'd like to live

with the animals, as Balthus did.

She'd like to convert the garage

into a mews, to bring the horses

into the house. They'd be

a source of heat and part

of the family. There’s ample

logic there, and beyond. Imagine:

dreaming in that saddle bed

above those hooves, galloping

anywhere and everywhere

in the world, and waking here.





Copyright © Andrea Cohen. White Whale Review, issue 1.3

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