Two poems by Tasha Cotter
Lost in a giant sea / Of astonishment, I remembered my old love of fool’s / Gold. The cool touch of mineral, the slick eyes of topaz.
Entering the museum, we followed signs in the low light
To the gems and minerals room. Inside,
All manner of mined and dug up earth was on display: the sharp glint of tetrahedra,
Quartz caught a flash of light. In the room of rare things,
Trophy rubies and sapphires. Thousands of stones
Were carefully positioned behind the glass,
Silently waiting in their private enchantment. Lost in a giant sea
Of astonishment, I remembered my old love of fool’s
Gold. The cool touch of mineral, the slick eyes of topaz. I’ve learned
That everything is a result of various forms of chemistry.
For example, diamonds are the hardest natural material,
And yet I couldn’t take my eyes away from the black night
of Galena: the exhibit of coal- dark mineral, stacked like a sculpture
Of shiny cubed ice, space-like in its depth. It’s not that native gold
Wasn’t there, but it was the amber that reminded me of you – there, near the end –
As the black path grew lit with yellow drops of golden romance,
A hush of brilliance, softly pieced me back together, heavy with memory, born again.
I’ve learned the trick is to not watch
The needle. I let her dab the crook
Of my arm with a wet piece of white
Cotton, a cold press of alcohol
Before the needle goes in. I wonder
What my blood will tell her this time.
The place is closing up. I’m the last
Patient. I’m ready to be stung
By the cool touch of the needle;
For my body to be woken up.
I need it to remember certain things.
We make small talk about Easter,
And I try to channel my mother,
A lion-tamer of pain, she could
Carry on whole conversations this way.
I wondered if she, too, spent her life
Always praying for the same thing.
Tasha’s second collection of poetry The Aqua Notebook will be released in February 2019. Her novel, Us, in Pieces (co-written with Chris Green) will be released in July. You can find her online at www.tashacotter.com