Compendium of Lost Objects

Nicole Cooley

 

Not the butterfly wing, the semiprecious stones,
          the shard of mirror,

not the cabinet of curiosities built with secret drawers
          to reveal and conceal its contents,

but the batture, the rope swing, the rusted barge
          sunk at the water’s edge

or the park’s Live Oaks you walked through
          with the forbidden man

or the pink-shuttered house on the streetcar line
          where you were married

or the green shock of land off I-10, road leading
          you away from home.

Not any of this
but a cot at the Superdome sunk in a dumpster

and lace valances from a Lakeview kitchen where water
          rose six feet high inside

and a refrigerator wrapped in duct tape lying
          in the dirt of a once-yard

and a Blue Roof and a house marked 0 and a

kitchen clock stopped at the time the hurricane hit.

Because, look, none of this fits
in a dark wood cabinet for safekeeping.

This is an installation
                    for dismantling
                              —never seen again.

 
From Breach by Nicole Cooley. Copyright © 2010 by Nicole Cooley. Used by permission of LSU Press

Poems by This Author

Marriage: A Daybook by Nicole Cooley
From the window the river rinses


Further Reading

Related Poems
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Poems about Objects
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Postcards
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Private Beach
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The Hammers
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The Things
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What the Angels Left
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White Box (notes)
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Woman in Front of Poster of Herself
by Alice Notley