Climate Stimulus                                                                                                —Rob Cook

A town of nothing but streetlights hacked into by mosquitoes. Lives made colder by a man selling telephone vacations. New Jersey erased from a clock. A man leaves the bar, sick of its afterhours. When he thinks he’s home, he takes out his liver and cleans it. Somewhere else another woman disappears at the other end of a long distance call. The last place the wind could not be proven to anyone. Billions of people elsewhere. Clothes gnawing at flesh. Trailer parks moving out in the crosshairs. Animal crops made to suffer. The grasses with nowhere to sleep. Too many lights left on. Too much traffic noise. Too many animals off-course each night. The mother who followed the trucks to Albany endures another year. A dollar where someone hides her food. Prisons growing in the soil without the stories of wheat. Storms approaching from the bottom of a puddle. An unemployed man found beneath his desk lamp. A deep wet shoulder where a knife can survive. And always a pot of blood on the stove. Book after book too heavy to carry. A man who doesn’t remember restaurant food. A school survivor’s voice mail, the uneasiness of a 22nd birthday spent alone, the same words always: Bangor, Pennsylvania. A sound like Epstein Barr closing its eyes. And then the map ends and the room drifts to a different address. A television advancing into another den of accelerated couch vegetation. Children filling each other with holes whose light never really ends. The color of their skin goes away, sometimes. Night, day, night, day once more. Time passing. The color of their skin coming back for them.

Rob Cook

Rob Cook lives in New York City’s East Village. He is the author of six collections, including Asking my Liver for Forgiveness (Rain Mountain Press, 2015), Undermining of the Democratic Club (Spuyten Duyvil, 2014), Blueprints for a Genocide (Spuyten Duyvil, 2012) and Empire in the Shade of a Grass Blade (Bitter Oleander Press, 2013). His recently re-released Last Window in the Punk Hotel was a Julie Suk Award finalist. Work has appeared in Asheville Poetry Review, Caliban, Fence, A cappella Zoo, Zoland Poetry, Tampa Review, Minnesota Review, Aufgabe, Caketrain, Many Mountains Moving, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Colorado Review, Bomb (online), Sugar House Review, Mudfish, Pleiades, Versal, Weave, Wisconsin Review, Ur Vox, Heavy Feather Review, Phantom Drift, Osiris, etc.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2017