Terese Coe -Poetry


Rounder and deeper than the line, 
the sound
breaks up through dry leaves.
Meandering, the river,  
through you. Branded, you, 
with even the bitterness 
that brands
the Western range.


His last days as a free citizen, 
lying on the floor unable to rise
only to fall again, blind and lost 
among the scattered pills, the 
running faucet, food in the fridge
in the isolation of his apartment. 

For months she’d read to him from 
the blind Borges and Nagarjuna,
books he piled around him in thin towers 
on his couch. He stopped her mid-sentence, 
said You skipped.

I’m reading the translation, not the 
commentary. You know the commentary.

Later she says I’m going to be 
so fucked up when you’re gone—
Quickly, impatiently, he replies
Oh, stop.

His birthday in Intensive Care, tube in his lungs, 
a final line he smiles at, half-sedated, raising his 
eyebrows three times quickly to show 
he hears her say 
That’s a great costume. 
Too bad you missed the Halloween parade.

Terese Coe Shot Silk



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About the contributor

My poems and translations have appeared in Measure, Alaska Quarterly Review, Agenda, The Cincinnati Review, The Moth, New American Writing, New Writing Scotland, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry Review, Threepenny Review, and the TLS, among many other journals. My collection Shot Silk was short-listed for the 2017 Poets Prize, and I’ve received grants from Giorno Poetry Systems and Vermont Studio Center. Copies of my poem "More" were heli-dropped across London as part of the 2012 Olympics Rain of Poems. My most recent collection of poems is Why You Can’t Go Home Again from Kelsay Books, 2018.

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