Paying Attention

Noelle Kocot

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He is not doing well. She is not

“Doing well.” They are not doing well.

And so the new day blooms with its

Frills held tight across the window.

If I could know that which resembles

Me, if I could taste the insistences

Of dusk, I would rise from the shocked

Grass and imagine a shelter of miniature

Tides. Trouble always follows me. If 

I left for some other clime, I would

Be confronted with the sparkling repose

Of hours for a little while, and then 

The hammer would come down like

The sides of a city avenue over me.

And so I stay, oh, I stay, and I report

The greenness of the alphabet disappearing

Over my faded jeans. X, you

Have witnessed every disaster, and I know

You know it’s true. Still, that is no reason

To stop running, like an untraceable phone.

Noelle Kocot, "Paying Attention" from God's Green Earth. Copyright © 2020 by Noelle Kocot. Reprinted by permission of the publisher. 

Source: God's Green Earth (Wave Books, 2020)