poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

I am Like a Desert Owl, an Owl Among the Ruins

Noelle Kocot

The alpha You. The omega You.
My grandmother’s ghost, its girlish snafu
Basking in the waters of urgency.

But I want the coolness of snow.
I want pairs of hands that speak to me cleanly,
Sutras to resuscitate what reigns

Over warped celluloid and heirlooms I can’t touch.
There are no family photographs.
Once I was ordinary.

I rattled around with arms, with legs,
With a damp remembering that served me well.
Then, a little sleep, a little slumber,

A little folding of the hands to rest.
I asked myself, don’t you just love it?
And then, why don’t you just love it?

And then, from what grace have I fallen?
Am I Sisyphus with his mute rock
Unsettling the topsoil, dissolved now

Into brandied battle shouts and pages that breathe like people?
There are hazards here, more so than before
The Furies struck and scarved the white night sifting

The bright waterlights blinking
And grieving over a mash of ice.
Like them, I wanted only to die, moon-dark, blessed,

Poised beneath the driest arrows of my suffering,
Far from the flocks of burning, singing gulls,
Face to face with the God of my childhood.

"I am Like a Desert Owl, an Owl Among the Ruins" by Noelle Kocot. From Poem for the End of Time and Other Poems, © 2006 by Noelle Kocot, published by Wave Books.

"I am Like a Desert Owl, an Owl Among the Ruins" by Noelle Kocot. From Poem for the End of Time and Other Poems, © 2006 by Noelle Kocot, published by Wave Books.

Noelle Kocot

by this poet

poem
Someone inside says, "Get busy."
But I've got appointments to keep,
I have an abstemious love of equations calculated quickly
While the tepid day melts into design.

And the high cheekbones of the beautiful life
Bear the loose look of a calendar by lamplight.
I search for patterns in everything.
I am tied in
poem

The human realities of the living are now
As close to me as my own—oh, see how
Dusty that plant gets when you don't clean
It! The rippling day is a fabulous lesson,
My pants are too loose, and yet. Bon nuit,
Mes chéries!
All over the whole neighbor-
Hood, your fluid legs move—

poem
My body is 
A little 
Green sea.

Bears bathe
In it
Then go to

Sleep in the 
Basement.
A four-wheeler

Slams past,
And then the 
Sea splashes

Around and 
Around.  
O little sea,

O my body,
Sit here with me
While I just talk.