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Like My Eyes When I Had Eyes
Aliyah Cotton



Look at us in the morning dark,
too tired to get a shirt on, too tired to get a raise.
                                                                                 It’s raining,
                         the sky’s voice shameful as dimes in a rusty tin can.

           The narrow sun throbs like an aching toe,
           limping in through some crack in the blinds.
                                                                 You try to shrug it off
                                                        —like the wool coat
                                        you wore last week,
                                                      the one you can’t take
                                        off the floor and hang up—

but your shoulders snag on the motion,
                                                                    leaving you cockeyed & crooked,
sideways with trying.                 Look for some sign of rescue,

               some sign of something coming,
                             but there is only the jeering
               of the bedroom walls that won’t settle down.
                                           Their laughter
                             pools like a rainbow,
               slick across an oil spill,

and your shoes sit there
              silently,
                           doing nothing,
going nowhere.
Aliyah Cotton is a poet born and raised in the DMV area. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Spires, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA from Boston University, where she was a recipient of the Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship. She creates music under the moniker October Love.
Mark



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