Excerpt from You Left Me Your Legacy, Love by Peter Cooley


The following poem appears in our Spring/Summer 2020 which we’ve decided to share not just with our paying subscribers but with our full community free of charge during these astonishing times. If anyone wishes to make a donation, it would be appreciated.

This drawer of multicolored socks, all scored
with painters, Chagall’s couple mid-air,
Van Gogh’s cypresses churning, Cezanne’s

sheened apples, so I can walk in wonder
every step. You left me my kind of belief,
art’s pretense of immortality, an eternity

daily reflection of your faith in heaven.
But why does Seurat’s pointillism afternoon
resist a mate unless it’s “Echo of A Scream”?

This woman like a mermaid staring back
while I slip Matisse on my left foot,
now my right, crossing my legs, she’ll be here

all day, when I sit down, presence of you.
Eternity of instants, that immortality.

Click here to read the rest of our Spring/Summer 2020 issue for free.

Peter CooleyPETER COOLEY was born and educated in the Midwest and has lived over half of his life in New Orleans, where he was Professor of English and Director of Creative writing at Tulane University and is now Professor Emeritus. The former Poet Laureate of Louisiana, he received the Marble Faun Award in Poetry and an Atlas Grant from the state of Louisiana. The father of three grown children, he published his tenth book World Without Finishing in 2018. Cooley is Poetry Editor of Christianity and Literature.

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