A Poem by Ange Mlinko

Our final selection from Coffee House Press is another poem by Ange Mlinko, from her new collection Shoulder Season. We’re grateful to Coffee House for sharing their wonderful wares with us this past week. Next, we’ll be sampling verse published by the estimable David R. Godine.



It’s a little spa for the mind—seeing butterflies

set themselves down by the dozen like easels

on bromeliads, when out on the street the boutiques

are dilapidated, construction can’t be told from ruin.

A single taste bud magnified resembles an orchid

but what that one’s drinking from is a woman’s eye

which must be brineless. I wonder what she consumes

that her tears taste like fructose. For minutes she’s all its.

Then the moon rises and the river flows backwards.

Composed of millions of tiny north poles, iron’s

punched out of the environment, hammered into railways.

Pubs serve shepherd’s pies with marcelled mashed-potato crusts

and each tree casts its shade in the form of its summary leaf.

Is a woman’s eye a single taste bud magnified?

Yet construction can’t be told from ruin.

Out on the street the boutiques are dilapidated

by the dozen like easels. But the mind—it’s a little spa.

From Shoulder Season by Ange Mlinko. Copyright © 2010 by Ange Mlinko.

Published by Coffee House Press: www.coffeehousepress.org.

Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.