Noelle Levy : Cowie

Fall '07 TOC


An ex-mining town near Stirling, Scotland

Cowie / you
cry on a bed of
empty water bottles, clutching your
Dorito bag blanket.

Mommy's favorite under
the skirt of the mountains,
oh, Cowie / you
stepchild shoved into the crotch
of the highway, no wonder
you litter yourself /you
just wanted to be
the prettiest girl at the party / who
Cowie, has ripped your dress?

with snow-lilied breasts,
silver-gowned beyond the marsh / she
could not
protect you.

And Cowie / you
still carry that fact-
ory on your back.

The geese preen
from their feathers, glide
the marsh
behind a barbed wire fence.
             KEEP OUT – says Cowie / this

Cowie / I
only stopped here to
stretch my legs.

At the pub
the town drunk asks am / I
American then / his
blurred speech breaks
over the word

I know, Cowie / I
was a fool to think I'd
be seen as anything other than
a walking war on
woman's legs.

Yes, I understand / Cowie
your country has shit on you.

We smoke cigarettes together and
laugh with toothless smiles, knowing
     the mountains will outlive
          human kindness and the factory and the guns and
              sullied reputations and the highway
            and the cars and the poets and the bombs and / I
         sometimes hope Earth will kill us all
     isn't that a fucked up thing to wish for but /you / Cowie
                          nod your head /you


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