a literary review
and in the beginning
it felt like nothing
i was watching robert downey, jr.
again wondering where
the time had gone
several years’ worth
in the laundromat
letters to my babies
hoping they missed me as i
we were to the spin cycle and
colleen was fixing
lou diamond phillips’ hair
was getting ready
(i worried the safety
of air travel, the cold)
it was june in the big city
can you believe it
the smell of
hospital on my hands
when i washed them
CNN Reports It Looks as If the Climber Has Finally Come to Her Senses
In a majestic display, retailers
reach out to say they have not forgotten their beloved
on this day of the party I didn’t want to get out of bed for. A BOGO special
on new feelings—why not try one on?
Why not? It’s a holiday, America!
I tell a stranger I’m painting these days. I know
he understands in his own quiet way. This is what progress looks like.
I keep it light: I dance sometimes while I do the dishes
to my favorite album of 2010. I remember to hydrate
and my uncle texts me to keep the faith. In these times
some species are provided a special garment
for comfort, or Sarah McLachlan’s angel voice
and conviction of the masses—proximity’s
a funny thing. I don’t know what it is to touch in that way
but I tune in to the live feed
to watch with a city misrecognized as home
the sister who has scaled some symbolism.
As she curls underfoot I’m reminded it’s a holiday
and someone offers that this is what happens
when you America too hard. Another complains
on behalf of an innocent son looking forward to fireworks.
How selfish of her to ascend, to grasp so insistently
and put those officers at risk, to ruin
a holiday. There are other ways to go about it. Do you know
how much this is costing? and again I’m counting
all the sisters who have broken
civility and other abstract and conditional protocols
because who else would dare to make such a production
of love. I will not hear Therese Patricia Okoumou for hours
but several sources are confirming that the climber should be evaluated.
Why’s she so mad about frozen water? sets off
an explosion of angry and haha emojis. It’s a holiday
and soon everyone will return to their business of barbecue
or scripted summer programming
(remembering, of course, to Google those pink shoes).
When she descends the ladder I can’t turn off
the blow-by-blow ringing free as an anthem.
I sway starry-eyed at the parade of breaths.
Nicole Higgins is a poet from Kansas City, Missouri and PhD candidate in English at Duke University. She has received fellowships from Callaloo and Cave Canem. Her work has appeared in Dream Pop Journal, Pleiades, Storyscape, Bear Review, Sink Review, and elsewhere.