Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read four poems by Julia Cohen, with art by Geoffrey Todd Smith, selected by Daniel Moysaenko.
The Ache Poem
We think the sea is invulnerable & we are
wrong. I watch water evaporate from
the vase. I watch your face as it turns to water.
Cars are louder than I am. Above the street I am
staring at two green shelves leaning against my wall.
Like a sailor, I whittled my heart into a hook & threw
it in the sea. The sea is a sink, a ceramic duck,
your stack of paper plates saved for picnics.
Our dog whines & I don’t know why. I’ve failed
in someway that has yet to be revealed.
Replace my heart with a lightbulb, a bleacher.
Nothing fits. I replace my heart with your
face. Scallops hold my hand, lead me to
that wet, grey scale. From the raft, I will
the shelves onto the wall. I will your face to
look up at me, from inside my chest.
Have I failed the sea. Refill the vase.