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About this Poem 

“This poem is from a series of over seventy sonnets (and counting) that I started this past February. While the title might be misleading, I think that in the language of the poem, there is some joy to be had, so it’s not all irony.”
Noelle Kocot

Happiness

Our ancestors in the earth are not
Ashamed of us. The strong smell
Of dirt, the delirious rabbits, the
Clocks are all disappearing. A

Prehistoric gift acquires the smell
Of salt. I grasp onto winter’s tail. 
Some water plants are lying around.
Smell & taste, I have had good

Luck in love. The slippery roads,
The capricious numbers on a blazing
Road, meet me at the forest’s edge
Where we can go with our legs

Lopped off, strangers to the clean
Teeth and tongue of outward happiness.
 

Copyright © 2015 by Noelle Kocot. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 8, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Noelle Kocot. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 8, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Noelle Kocot

Noelle Kocot

Noelle Kocot is the author of Soul in Space (Wave Books, 2013). She teaches at The New School and lives in New Jersey.

by this poet

poem
It's the fern beyond the wind, the classic
Eruptions.  Night is a funnel that is overcome.
Violence of signs beyond the pale. Stasis
Has its own way, the hard work, the violence. 
Convalesce, convalesce in the green green
World, in which you could hardly walk,
But that was before, before life set its rhythms
In
poem

A plausible place, this sea of air.
Somehow, the fragments of a later
Time get pulled out of the memory.
The earth surges up, the snow covers
Us. The blackened lungs of a bird
Cry out in the shaped bones
Of my hands. Walls of dust,
The bright little stars above us,
Who can

2
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—