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Peter Cooley

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Peter Cooley is the author of World Without Finishing (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2018), Night Bus to the Afterlife (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2014), Divine Margins (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2009), and A Place Made of Starlight (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2003). He is a Senior Mellon Professor in the Humanities and Director of Creative Writing at Tulane University and lives in New Orleans.

by this poet

I'd like to see the tree as it once stood
before me, childhood, the branch and leaf
a single form of transport, ecstasy
shaking my body I give to the leaves,
the leaves return, my stare all interchange.

But that was when I had a sky to name
since I had a belief in constancy
like everyone. The sky was my

It’s not that we’re not dying.
Everything is dying.
We hear these rumors of the planet’s end
none of us will be around to watch.

It’s not that we’re not ugly.
We’re ugly.
Look at your feet, now that your shoes are off.
You could be a duck,

no, duck-billed platypus,