Share https://www.terrain.org/mp3/2019/may/Cohen-Poems.mp3Skin in GameIt isn’t easy giving your skin to someoneto hold, even for a minute, even if shegives you her skin, or the bones of her innerear without blinking. You can’t hearwithout those bones, you need someoneto intuit winds closing in. Withoutskin you feel too much this buffeting,the way grasses, flaming, die back,the way a solitary mare through greenfields moves, the way the fieldmoves through you. CrossingHe walks like a condemned man, putting one sprig of greenin front of a blizzard. Mostly he travels by night,in dreams, to not be seen. By day he hangs outwith other condemned men— they eat, they laugh, play cards.Tomorrow they will tell their condemned womenhow the hours, like yellow tulips to light, bend toward them. ExperimentalHe builds the birds from wings he hasaround the house, the cage from breadhe bakes. He means to see how long the birdsmight take to eat a way out, how long,not knowing the ways of the wild, to flyback, and in what forlorn and minorkey, for their stale cage, sing. BlizzardAll night plows plow. Snows snow. Loverssomewhere somehow love. What purity: doing whatyou are. I listen to the bone soup brewing: not the properway to savor the savory. Let’s study weatherweathering, balloons ballooning. The weatherballoon sent up says which way windshowl & how fast. I’m trying to put my mouth around the idea of you. It’s an awkwardtask—like the dog bringing slippersto his legless master. Andrea Cohen’s sixth book, Nightshade, is due out this year by Four Way Books. Her last book is Unfathoming. She directs the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Writers House at Merrimack College. Read poetry by Andrea Cohen previously appearing in Terrain.org: seven poems and four poems. Header photo by Creative Travel Projects, courtesy Shutterstock. Photo of Andrea Cohen by Adrianne Mathiowetz.