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2 Poems || Melissa Cossey

I Will Do This For All Of You
My main fear of the End
is that there will not be enough
to complain about.
That we will all be unwavering
in our job of trying not to die.
That we will make desperate
friendships with neighbors
who decently stockpiled goods,
and embrace a life of smelling
canned foods for rot.
That we will spend hours
bravely considering the horizon,
thinking of others.
That the greenest grass
will still be swaying.
The new tints of environmental
catastrophe, exciting.
Children will be born with
the only thing they need
to survive which is and always has been
deep sadness.
I have higher hopes for the End.
I wish to be the first to lose my shit.
I will scream and run,
collect my belongings dramatically,
say hundreds of wet goodbyes.
I will do this for all of you.
I will cry and pull my hair.
I will contact all of your ex- boyfriends.
I will hold the trash bag
for your mother as she stuffs
pictures of you inside.
I will dig a hole
in your backyard, pull
the sod over like a blanket
and hide.
Baby Daydream
In the aisle of Target you see a handsome
new father doing goo goo to his daughter
and it makes you want to have a baby.
Suddenly, you’re pregnant
with a baby you can have when you want
and not have when you do not.
You wonder: Should you breastfeed the baby
or should it come out eating steak dinners?
The baby who eats steak dinners will also be able to talk
and will dress itself. When it is time for dress up
the baby will regress to an age akin to the helpless
luffing of a sailboat, with only you, only you
to steer it into the wind.
The tiniest bud of selfishness blooms
and a supple loneliness fills your apartment,
interrupted only by the cheerful dinging
of the microwave
saying it has prepared something for only you.
You bring the baby back at bath time, rock it sweetly,
hoist it to look at itself in the sweating mirror with so much joy.
When baby gets too heavy you will the baby away
and go to bed to think of boys.
Sometimes baby comes to the wilderness,
and always sits still when the light is right,
especially in the Fall, when you notice the baby has hair on its legs!
You cry and laugh and call your mother.
The sometimes-baby will always answer the phone
when you call, needing to be talked down because
you are dying slowly and untragically and without much fuss.
I’m dying! you say to the baby, who is now not a baby
but perhaps an accountant or pawn shop owner.
We’re all dying! the accountant baby will say,
laughing contagiously. Accountant baby
is wise without being too much of a know it all.
You will the baby one morning to come
and eat a bowl of cereal with you,
to be four years old, to tell a funny story.
But the baby is reluctant to come.
The baby is tired of being jerked around.
The baby wants you to know he’s not mad,
he’s just disappointed.
It’s me or you the baby says.
You tell the baby you need some more time.
What of my long showers?
Those dusks when the birds were enough?
The baby yawns and turns to sleep.
His every twitch is a reason you never thought of
to try and get the baby back, to take back the
time you didn’t want the baby
but you can’t
and the pink sky is primping on the horizon,
offering nothing but more of what you can’t touch
nothing but more of what you can’t do anything about.
Melissa Cossey is a poet and tutor living and working in Carbondale, IL. Melissa is a former online magazine editor and MFA drop-out. Her recent publications include Prime Mincer Literary Journal.