Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Two Poems by Lindsay Coleman


You have to love all animals the way they are or you will be sorry. This I learned when I bought Zippy, the little white parakeet. On the way home from the pet store I looked into the cage and realized Zippy only had one eye. There was a dark hole surrounded by chapped feathers where the other eye was supposed to be. When I looked into Zippy’s head, I saw he was thinking the same thing I was thinking: I need some birdseed. This was normal, but seeing into Zippy’s head was not. I felt very sad for Zippy, but I kind of wanted to take him back to the store too. I didn’t want to see into his head all the time, because then I wouldn’t know if what I was thinking was because of me, or Zippy. So I ended up returning him, and it was a big mistake. Now, I have this horrible molting parrot that bites. He repeats everything. He says I have a rotten heart.


Me and my Huffy bike
me and my Nike swoosh
me and my purple shins
me and my squinty glare
me and my rucksack
me and my pronged walking staff

You and your shoulder-kick
you and your robot eye
you and your skull lantern
you and your forget-not box
you and your pentacle skateboard
you and your Death Dealer lighter

Me and my all-in-one tool
me and my vermin swarm
me and my ceremonial hammers
me and my werewolf hearthrug
me and my flaming tower of Tarot
me and my voracious Bluefish of hope

You and your torturer’s sleeve
you and your house of smoke
you and your jewel-hoofed horses
you and your smoke-lipped cannon
you and your night fox alliance
you and your purple barbed lotus tree

Me and my lightless yo-yo
you and your inside voice
me and my pirate coin
you and your couch-fort
me and my geode collection
you and your expired milk carton
me and my time-out chair
you and your bee-stung cheek
me and my honorable mention
you and your black mood ring
me and my sunken tear ducts
you and your sixth toe
me and my Shaolin show-down
you and your merciless rubber band of doom.

Lindsay Coleman is a professor at Babson College in Massachusetts. She received her B.A. from Harvard University and her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s workshop. Some of her previous poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Forklift: Ohio, Quarter after Eight, Bateau, Seneca Review, H_NGM_N and Fairy Tale Review.