January 13, 2022

“The Coldest Hour,” Poetry by Zoey Collea

“The Coldest Hour,” Poetry by Zoey Collea
The Coldest Hour

The mountains, the mountains set adrift on a tundra of pickled grass
Springing up like nubby hairs on that of a newborn's scalp

I haven't taken the time to learn a second language
Though the sun burns through the window onto my hair and I can almost smell it burning
To know every word inside and out like my favorite song on the café radio
at the moment of the day when light slips into its cremation and becomes a dusting around
office buildings and parked cars

I hold my bag tightly to my side
the layers of clothes I have on makes it hard to concentrate, but someone told me that 
distraction is actually a good thing.

When I reach home, I empty the stale coffee
I purchased some at the café                                 The mountains knew this
before you.
What is useless if laid untouched?
Is something deemed useless when it becomes nothing of what made it begin?

The stems tie around my fingers as if I'm knitting filaments of the earth, taken from 
their mother                                                  They send me dreams to
shame me.

I place them in a vase and set it on my kitchen table, watching as they wait for dinner 
like me
Saucers surrounding them
Does it appear as a mini apocalypse?
The way things dirty, how the doorbell rings when I am not done cooking. 

                                                              The lightning bakes its
pastry town
It falls, not as dominoes but as birds caught in a grenade.

The man comes each day to read his history books
                                             My degree stains in the sun
The way my hair burned
                   out of necessity.


a corpse sleeps in bed 
and thinks the flies 
around its rotting 
are stars 
leaning down to touch  
what little wisps of hair  
still root in its 
pores, feeding off  
dead soil and an  
ocean of gauze wrapping 
its ligaments, but if I could  
pluck it from the coast and  
turn it in my palm  
like a fossilized shell,  
Does it still dream? 
and if it does,  
are the corners of  
that dream dressed with  
Moth balls - 
where in the back of it’s  
a vault of memories  
like a toad’s last 
wish, to elongate its tongue  
to capture and consume those  
carouseling around 
that rotting melon?


there is a captain for everything
boat wood drifting over ripples in the rays
of the night sun
each thorn of the rose spindling out like centipede legs
in a garden that's kept quiet by pesticides

the leaves are green right now
bounded into the doughy earth and served, circular
cookies for later

windows mop in watery light
and I awake
to the frustration that each day we must search for land

gills growing hungry and breath frozen 
to be a solid thing that tastes us each second

Take It Back

A 2pm train drizzled down a drain, where little bodies sit and stand and blame
On it, got a woman, double my age
A purple pocketbook and peeling lipstick

If someone asked, she'd say "I've had a day" - not wrapped so evenly but still a
present all the same
And a car ran past a brownstone in Tribeca
Little bodies drinking coffee

Watching news to and fro
A man hailed the taxi and it spit up water

"Watch it" and the foam grew around his mouth
Becoming his beer from last night, huh? But he still got in and paid and tipped

A stroller walked down a sidewalk in a suburb
No mother, a nanny, tickling the child the way it should
And she stops at traffic lights and never cuts in line - takes her dog inside when it
barks at night

All little bodies

Falling into place

On an escalator up to death without a halted pace
No point in trying to seize the time it takes

To live as if you'll not do so tomorrow
But no
Shall not be greedy
So which is it,

Where to go?


Zoey Collea is a Junior at Bard College where she studies Creative Writing and Law. She self-published her first book at eighteen and is currently writing another one, in addition to her poetry. She hopes to become a successful author and get her MFA upon graduation. 

The Coldest Hour
#mountains#observation#poetry#zoey collea

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