Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

Julia Cohen

When I Kissed a Young Branch With My Eye

& went blind for a week, green waves 
was all I could see in the infirmary:

warm cups of water, a nurse on the telephone, 
the sound of a spider laying eggs.

My youth a bucket of apples fed 
to a fat horse. That tent for kissing, that shadow 
for reading.


Backward in a train car, could I be here 
without questions? I, a lilac in a chewed-through field.

Dressed in a fractal gown 
you watch the napping animals.

Skipping seashells through the bonfire
we can snort at waves we can joke about names.

A series of gates we call elbows. 
There is so little to ask for yet I'm afraid:

Fuck me here & here.


Under the cloudcoma, a breakfast of rain: 
bees & tweezers. Are the foxes sweaty? 
Do they sweat at all, crooning at the greenwhiskered 

Your frock of liquorish & frogs. 
Two blue eyes in a wooden wagon. 

Some things I could yet don't 
desire to build alone. Like the hospital for 
children with swan-fractured arms. A list like 
a handful of shells too far from the sand.


I can't bring myself to ask of hesitation—
what of my own light's deficits would be revealed?
How much would I rather wrap 
a tan arm in swan-white gauze?

Fuck me here & here.

No more yapping at the envelopes 
slipping through the door. We can live with 
the weather in a rising boat:

Fill me with images not words.

From the spigot of a future grammar
from the field of orange lanterns
a dark humming pulls my hair.

Julia Cohen's most recent book is a hybrid collection of lyric essays, I Was Not Born (Noemi Press, 2014). Her poetry books are Collateral Light (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2014) and Triggermoon Triggermoon (Black Lawrence Press, 2011). Her work appears in journals like Juked, The Rumpus, Boston Review, BOMB, DIAGRAM, Entropy, The Destroyer. She can be found at: