Lydia R. Cooper


Factory plumes sear the sky,
blue tongues of polycarbons.
Cold ash drifts onto knee-high

snow-ruts, tires slicing ribbons
of slush. Empty warehouses
gape, starved gardens Adam’s

long since abandoned. Whose
Gore-Tex boots crunch old snow?
Grown kids, wearing shrouds

of black trashbags, stumbling, go
past up crippled brick streets.
This is the only Eden I know.

I hunch at a window, faint heat
smelling like burnt lint blistering
numb knuckles, and I sketch feats

of heroes on napkins, crumpling
failed words, nose dripping, stale
coffee spilled like blood crusting.

Ripe sunlight suddenly cracks pale
washes of clouds, strikes high
city windows. Molten gold frail

as breath blinds my aching eyes.
The crushed napkin of dumb lines
falls off the table. Paradise

creeps in as the city burns. Shines.

Lydia R. Cooper will receive her Ph.D. in English Literature from Baylor University. At Baylor , she has met poets from Paul Muldoon to Derek Wolcott at the annual Beall Poetry Festival, which she helped host this last year. The festival is the highlight of her year. She writes poetry when she is not reading it.  



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