“Spring Fever” & “Marriage” by Christie B. Cochrell

“Spring Fever” & “Marriage” by Christie B. Cochrell

Spring Fever

The words I need haven’t showed up today,
only half memories stirred awake again
like the grape hyacinths and budding leaves—

the train from Union Station (spring, in love)
behind L.A.’s Olvera Street
down to that mercado in Mazatlán with
its shrimp soup, cilantro, badly sunburned feet;

the frogs and campanile bells outside the
open windows of the Eucalyptus Press at Mills,
devouring Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries
deep into the night
after cleaning the ink from the platen,
putting the poems to their crisp-sheeted bed;

the made-up siblings I grew fond of
drinking icy gin from their grandmother’s
bone china teacups, reading aloud from Poe;

walking along the river in Chicago
all those years at dusk, lights coming on,
long bridges beckoning, feeling the heady
unarticulated yearnings for things out of reach;

the Robert Bly line “where the spirit horses drink;”

and then egg shells colored with onion skins,
with beetroot, turmeric, carrots, or marigolds,
tea leaves or ground spices, sweet woodruff,
home-dyed Easter eggs, unbearably fragile

hidden away so long ago in the tangled garden
on Forest Avenue, where girls with baskets and
pretty new dresses came, haloed with hope
their quest holy as Galahad’s,
their grail just through that out of kilter gate.

 

 

 


Marriage

The week before my marriage at fifty
to my tardy soulmate, I buy a medieval
ring inscribed on the inside yovrs onli
(as I am) in the chaste chased silver;
have my feet immersed in melted wax,
toenails painted eggplant. And yet I
turn down the salt scrub made with
Tuscan minerals and body wash with
deep sea algae and pink grapefruit.
It is quite happiness enough to come
to him on feet that are so clean, so new,
they feel as if they’ll never touch
the ground again—nor have to, since
the swallows of his birth month have
all gladly promised me 
               their swallows’ wings.




Christie B. Cochrell is an ardent lover of the play of light, the journeyings of time, things ephemeral and ancient. Her work has been published by Tin House and New Letters, among others, and has won several awards including the Dorothy Cappon Prize for the Essay and the Literal Latté Short Short Contest. She has written three novels, currently seeking publication; one was shortlisted for the Eludia Award given by Hidden River Arts. Her short story “The Pinecone” received Honorable Mention in the Glimmer Train March/April 2016 Very Short Fiction contest. Her poetry has been published by Red Bird Chapbooks and her flash prose has been published by 101 Words and Dime Show Review.

Category : Issue Seven December 2017 Tags :

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