Poetry by Irene Cooper – The Feminist Wire

Poetry by Irene Cooper




Leeched of

grace I rise

with ashes in my

mouth from




thing sweet

fresh out of

sight put out

of mind your


some body

might hear


a child offering

coffee and cakes to

a priest as

you slept


He emptied

pockets of coins and

guilt at the

table I come



He laid

hands on

me as you

said no









White lines striate my hips and thighs

scars left post puberty



peri-menopause goddammit



just move my body grows

a child, two borders are drawn

redrawn (I am not)

endlessly elastic


Furrows in the mirror

awake if not altogether (the perfect)


years of carving lines and circles

(in) my face just busywork


is plain



Streaks down my wrist

vertical like what works I hear

cant confirm or deny


It was nothing (fireflies)

An act of valor my body fell upon the glass

that would have held them


Broken lines are infinitely


(some of my best friends are)

on the move across territories

endless wide-eyed jet-fueled nights

of almost there





Yellow sauce splatter, a bet on gravity and solid matter

no sole agent of this or any beauty


Michelangelo knew the limits of genius, Eve more David

s nonno or bachelor zio at Coney Island, sunning their red breasts


Nobodys perfect. Or everybody is.


Pollack, another mess, dripping bottle caps and ashes in impasto

pulling at green disparities til we look wholly


Between blue bodies is space more minute than the

nothing holding each of our 37 trillion cells together


We could pass a hand or any weapon right through us



Irene Cooper lives, writes, and cooks in a dry part of the Pacific Northwest. She holds an MFA in poetry from Oregon State University-Cascades. She is a fierce advocate for self-directed education, public school, arts curricula, college funding reform, accessible health care, any available toilet, and the popular vote, among other things. She believes that language is imperfect, and so, miraculous.