Andrea Cohen

The Way Forward | Fountainebleau
February 17, 2016 Cohen Andrea

The Way Forward


Swordplay is all

the rage at Edie’s

school. You can’t have

an actual sword, but

may display the swagger

of your arm, which Rupert

does, all blade and swashbuckle,

though he must ask Edie

first, May I wave my saber

at you? Or, drawing the two

fingers of his pistol, May

I shoot? Edie rolls

her eyes––yes, yes, lets

Rupert pull the trigger,

then spins, then topples, then

plays dead. She’s expert

at that, and when Rupert

moves toward her, searching

for a pulse, faint breath, for a way

to take it all back, there’s no

one to ask permission of,

no one to say that the way

he goes now isn’t the gang-

plank of his making.





We’re in the library, high

as the kites that kites

fly, eying the massive globe

on which Napoleon lay

his hand, imagining

all the lands that would

be his. How that world

must have spun

to escape him. In

the winter gardens,

we lunch on blood

oranges. A train comes,

and one grey cloud. I

will forsake you. 

Andrea Cohen is the author of eight poetry collections, including Everything, Nightshade, and The Sorrow Apartments (forthcoming). She directs the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, MA.