Today's poem is by Nicole Cooley

Compendium of Lost Objects

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 Live Oaks you walked through
                      with the forbidden man

or the pink-shuttered house on the streetcar line
                      where you were married

or the green shock of land off I-10, road leading
                      you away from home.

Not any of this
but a cot at the Superdome sunk in a dumpster

and lace valances from a Lakeview kitchen where water
                      rose six feet high inside
and a refrigerator wrapped in duct tape lying
                      in the dirt of a once-yard

and a Blue Roof and a house marked 0 and a

kitchen clock stopped at the time the hurricane hit.

Because, look, none of this fits
in a dark wood cabinet for safekeeping.

This is an installation
                      for dismantling
                                    —never seen again.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Cooley All rights reserved
from Breach
Louisiana State University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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