The Collapsar publishes new poetry, fiction, and nonfiction every other month, and new culture writing weekly.

Two Poems by Tasha Cotter

  Photo Credit: Amy Millios



The trees are engulfed in dreams

I’m dreaming

of their anatomy ghost chests

which are so real I can feel

their hearts of light on

my shoulders.

On this day, nothing was said

and so I step outside

and explode into the light

because it feels like the beauty

is launching itself through the air.

We are OK. And the snow has stopped

after the coldest March on record.

I touch the flames painted on my cheeks

and listen and when I listen

to March I hear how every other day

there is a record-breaking

something. And this is always bad.

Every other day you lose half

of something you forgot you had,

so prepare to be happy.

I’m heading home to you,

threading my stray dreams

through my hair, little wicks

ready to be lit, or not. I braid myself

with the inner-life of trees.

Don’t find me, please, rumors of disaster.

Without the stars there wouldn’t be us.





Not the cracked sidewalk that snakes around

this town. Not mother, not father.

Not the one thing they were when they were together.

Not what I was when I was younger.

Not the knowledge I once had of how to be

alone. Not my brother in his house,

on his computer, alone. Not his dog.

Not that kind of devotion.

Not the tiny bulbs I push into the ground

or the earth I pat around their green heads

slick as butter knives. In a ground

of shell, sand, and bone I wait for them

to take life, but nothing will stay.

Not even the apparition of you

making breakfast, the sun not yet out.

There’s nothing more to know, you say

and you turn to add more salt.

Make our life that moment where

the bread is already on our plates.

The moment I think it’s too much

You’re saying it’s just enough.






Tasha Cotter's first full-length collection of poetry, Some Churches, was released in 2013 with Gold Wake Press. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in NANO Fiction, Verse Daily, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. You can find her online at She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky.

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