Karen Schoemer


KNOWING AND EXPECTATION ARE BURDENSOME AND INESCAPABLE


The ceiling fan wisps
Evening air pushes through the window
Strangers pass and doors slam on State Street
Cars face me and face away

I didn’t pay attention to what I was supposed to pay attention to
Tony fell asleep on the couch
A one-eyed cat came through the window
Our cat ran the length of the apartment, yowling

I told him I was upset and he said “I get it. I’m sorry”
In the distance I hear howlings, as if coyotes
The wind shivers, sounding like fall
When I sit in the dark it’s easy to forget about everything

We crossed the broken-down bridge above the railroad tracks
Graffiti on the trestle said “On floated the wolf”
The summer evening light was silver
It shone on the river and made the mountains black

The cat jumps on my lap
She curls with her back pressing into me
It’s not merely touching—it’s assertive
She uses me as a boundary, a definition—I help her know where she ends

I could feel how insubstantial we were

The space between us colored by sunset
I took a picture and in the photo the river was violet
“Light can fuck with you,” he said





Bio: Karen Schoemer is a poet and performer in HudsonNY. Her poems have appeared in the Pine Hills Review and La Presa. A recent MFA graduate of the Writer's Foundry in Brooklyn, she is vocalist for the bands Sky Furrows and Jaded Azurites. Her book Great Pretenders: My Strange Love Affair with '50s Pop Music was published by Free Press in 2006.

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