‘4 Poems’ by Allison Cohen



whole milk sludge
my treat on flat land

thin layer contained my offering
platonic treaty, please consider:

how do you mythologize my listlessness?
no, don’t tell me

forgot the applicator so we wrote it out
cowardly cabinet, aggro husk
ended up on the opposite coast
how moody! let’s demur

saved an inkblot no one asked for
stained the palm all on my own
there’s a quart waiting, souring


heavier than this lucite tortoise
sinks private cliché –
bad games, you feel?
shine the thin light through

skin peels back
erased my blue cuticle for this
what a waste! too warm

benefit from the experimental shake
can we adjust that algorithm

why’d you have to attach shame?
pack it up
walk me to the shredder

slide the briefs through and
listen: a crackle


fraudulent sweat
actual goosebumps
percolating behind my

arms’ gyre hurtling toward
temperature drop, baggage claim jingle

hearts of palm, my gift!
for you, on the wet nose

when I offer up a maternal slouch
come share an asymmetry
until we can no longer bear it


what do you like about it? say this with me, the rheumatic error of it all, the scalding heat –

chronically explicit, now

hold my pinky! no promises, only incomprehensible theory

slid in on the joke
obfuscation? deathly
wink triggers my reflex
now slide