Christina Cook

I ask you and you say:
somewhere in a Fargo field
a rusted gate slams shut. In sepia

dusk you say: somewhere
sadness smokes a clove cigarette
and leaves a nickel for the waitress.

I ask why, and in minor chords
you say: striations in a sky
that fails us, sharp husks of prairie

land in prayer: your answer like the air
inside a flute as if
dispersing into song.

Voice in the Reeds

The cormorant sunning itself on the rock
that juts from the lake is the thought
of a naked body, warm and alone.

Arms of the water drip morning
riches: thoughts on the purity
of owning nothing. A laurel leaf drops

on lake’s memory of a wave lulling
shore, where a blade of grass bends
beneath hooves of doe: slight, smooth, light

of foot: the move a yogi wants, inhaling sway
bend where bones are. When his spine arches
with old age and his mind sleeks to a single

feather preened off the hot black body
of a bird, he will float on waves
no longer there.

Christina Cook holds an MFA from Vermont College and an MA from the University of Cincinnati. Her poems and translations of contemporary French poems have

appeared or are forthcoming in a number of journals, most recently in Prairie Schooner, Sojourn: A Journal of the Arts, and Inertia Magazine.

Christina lives and writes in New Hampshire.

“Ahh, the front porch of my childhood home: my mother’s creaky wicker chaise with books spilling over the end of it. Tall glasses of fresh lemonade. Huge potted ferns.

All this hemmed in by the ornate gingerbread railings which my father restored on our Victorian house…this front porch remains a cool breezy place in my memory, a standard of

simplicity in childhood which I try to recreate for my own children every summer, albeit on our more prosaic ‘back deck.'”