Share40 https://www.terrain.org/mp3/2019/may/Cohen-Poems.mp3 Skin in Game It isn’t easy giving your skin to someone to hold, even for a minute, even if she gives you her skin, or the bones of her inner ear without blinking. You can’t hear without those bones, you need someone to intuit winds closing in. Without skin you feel too much this buffeting, the way grasses, flaming, die back, the way a solitary mare through green fields moves, the way the field moves through you. Crossing He walks like a condemned man, putting one sprig of green in front of a blizzard. Mostly he travels by night, in dreams, to not be seen. By day he hangs out with other condemned men— they eat, they laugh, play cards. Tomorrow they will tell their condemned women how the hours, like yellow tulips to light, bend toward them. Experimental He builds the birds from wings he has around the house, the cage from bread he bakes. He means to see how long the birds might take to eat a way out, how long, not knowing the ways of the wild, to fly back, and in what forlorn and minor key, for their stale cage, sing. Blizzard All night plows plow. Snows snow. Lovers somewhere somehow love. What purity: doing what you are. I listen to the bone soup brewing: not the proper way to savor the savory. Let’s study weather weathering, balloons ballooning. The weather balloon sent up says which way winds howl & how fast. I’m trying to put my mouth around the idea of you. It’s an awkward task—like the dog bringing slippers to 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.