you are in the diode archives v5n3



You Are Blue

Sometimes you’re a blue shadow standing on a cymbal
silent before the drum sticks hit. My glow-worm sky
reverberates under the sheets & a poem
shakes out, my contemporary. My rearranged periphery
pooling a bloody couplet. Slinky noose.
You nose the volume up a notch. A cough
copasetic to illegible regret. My parents took
the poem out of the garbage. A hasty babysitter who
burnt our counter. I’m trying to keep a plant
alive that’s older than I am. Who told you I’ve
killed before? The orange couch chorus?


You Can’t Marry History

I shipwrecked the mountain
with lurid rain
cinched, helmed to
heighten the
through antlers & fog.
I used to think about you
with love & now I think
of you with love & sadness.
Let’s rent a larger
apartment for memories.
Whatever happens, I’m no longer
afraid the poems won’t come,
won’t smear the wallpaper
with the sunburned heat of
my horned headlamp.
High ceilings save me.


Make a Bright Baby of Death

I locked
the habitat reminder
in the back alley

it is, is not yours
to destroy

shadow on shadow
did we rip off color?

can we talk
ourselves out of here?


we pearled
we shimmy past pearl
now feet, canvas

double shadow of
the camouflaged

a lag-time flashes
in sunglass or falls
asleep with


the myth was in
your mouth

flashlights spawning
out of the garden

I never was
trying for wholesome

more like an
intravenous wave

does it matter if we call
the milky air?  


Julia Cohen is the author of Triggermoon Triggermoon (Black Lawrence Press, 2011) and her work appears in journals such as jubilat, New American Writing, and the Colorado Review. She is the Associate Editor of the Denver Quarterly.