Fall 2016 (Volume 20, Issue II): 20th Anniversary Issue
COOPER OF LUCE COUNTY
No, it’s not love. Not his palms massaging
sunblock onto my freckled back,
and brushing sand off my torso. Not the towel
offered or the glare off basalt
cradled in St. Martin Bay.
It’s filling a mason jar with raspberry
preserves—the bushes in the back
window already boiling with more
red fruit. Or plunging a hand
into the thicket, and pricking a finger.
I thrust myself into a world
without bandages. From behind the briar
I watched a fox chew its front paw.
Nothing else moved. The winds came later,
the thunder, and the pain. I pressed pillows
to my ears to block the blasts. Please teach me how
to sleep during a thunderstorm, to feed
wild beasts with fistfuls of beef. Teach me how to clean
my cuts in a wooden flume. That’s all I want.