I thought of fish scales & drops
of war like a line of spiders

You leave marks in
the dirt & that’s my pattern, ants
swarming a cut potato

They say joy
They say banish the foreign night
choked by childish branches

The wedding of war & a thatched roof
Take off your acorn hat

Children pop
out of boxes like lanterns released

Soldiers bury lemon buds, “Have you
seen a muzzle on a bull? What I use
as my design?”

They say carve your potato to stamp
the envelope’s white forearm

The pattern of a marriage
procession: hooves, hairpins, mud
meshed to scalp, motoring

They say children fall instantly
into use

Condense our lives inside
a single lemon

Seeds scatter on a feather
The weft you attach to foreheads

Julia Cohen is the author of Triggermoon Triggermoon (Black Lawrence Press, 2011) and her work appears in places like Colorado Review, New American Writing, Kenyon Review Online, and Octopus Magazine.


You’ll See My Design Inside a Lemon
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