The blackest of holes,
the hottest of suns,
the craziest captain alive.
Surrender to none,
be gentle to some,
stay tough as the skies collide.
The milkiest way is over my head.
They’re chasing me mile after mile.
This starship is mine,
try and catch me, I said.
This marvellous starship is mine.
I’m almost young and comparably civil
for someone who nurtures her inner cynic,
I have a soft spot for Charles Simic,
Nintendo and soda bread.
I’m somewhat Russian and kind of solid
for someone who never knows when to call it,
I once loved a redhead, I wrote her sonnets,
but now the romance is dead.
She wished I had stayed in the capital city,
took care of her kitty, who’s bald and unpretty,
She said I was deadly at cooking and twitting.
my words and my soup turned sour.
I wished she had moved with me to the Ocean,
but she couldn’t swim, and I hadn’t a notion.
We blew our life jackets out of proportion
and labelled each other as cowards.
It’s crazy how even the Arctic winter
seems warmer than feelings which soon will wither.
I could live without her, but hardly with her.
It’s not the winning that counts.
I’m lucky the sun in my garden is blazing,
I’m planting my saplings and I will raise them
with leaves full of poison and sharp as razors,
with crowns that shall pierce the clouds.
Dog I Can’t Keep
First language is a dog I can’t keep anymore
barking in the back of my mind.
Stay, I command.
But it goes wherever it pleases,
reminding me who is the real owner here.
Its growling is so powerful that all other sounds get lost in it.
Your bites leave no scars anymore, I say.
I’ll find you a new home, I say.
First find yourself one.
Its jaws are closing around my neck.
is tattooed on my skin,
and the picture is changing in real time.
Here is my school friend’s fresh grave,
here is yesterday’s theatre student
in a prison transport vehicle,
here are the ashes of Siberian forests,
here are the history books being rewritten.
And here is the apple tree in my parents’ garden
blossoming, just like any other year,
and it’s my favorite part of the tattoo.
One day I’ll have the rest of it removed.
Poems from My Name Is © Polina Cosgrave