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About this Poem 

"For the past year, I've been working on a series of poems about marriage. Marriage as slant, marriage looked at askew. Marriage as a translation, its language taken from the most unlikely sources I can find: Latin poets, scraps of paper from the subway, lyrics to songs that have nothing to do with love. It's been so much fun exploring metaphor this way and forcing myself out of myself, out of my writing habits."
—Nicole Cooley

Marriage: A Daybook

Nicole Cooley

From the window the river rinses 
the dark. I twist 
the wedding beads around my neck. I’ve lost
my ring, silver and antique, bought from the night market
in the other world across
the ocean, color of dull lead,
color of the pan I scrub and burn
in the sink.


Catullus wrote, I hate and love, and he wasn’t talking about marriage.


Not talking about the blacked-out
window crossed with hurricane tape,
like a movie screen, a page redacted,
your hand erasing a blackboard
with an eraser’s soft compliant body.

Copyright © 2014 by Nicole Cooley. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on January 23, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Nicole Cooley

Nicole Cooley

Nicole Cooley grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. She received her B.A.

by this poet


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