Jill L. Cooper, “Your Extra Time”

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Your Extra Time

My stack of pillows on this wooden floor feels like the cool bottom of a hypnotist’s cave. Elbows on knees, my feet still pulse with the bareness of petals and rabbit shit and the detritus of a catkin storm. My floor is smooth like sand after the ocean has gone out, and I wonder

what I did right to deserve this Beloved squirreling me away like a treasure for later, for the sudden sprout of now. And then I know I did nothing for this but turn on some small bare bulb.

I am a tin recycled into a second use as a place to store cosmos seeds, and the gnostic rain of purple star garnets, free for any thirsty mystic who comes my way. I will. I do. I throw diamonds like confetti at the violinist who broke my heart, as she ran in all black, in night, late to her performance, her ears curled the color of walnuts and harmony, pitch perfect.

My heart shattered at least ten times yesterday. Everyone I met was a slam poet. Everyone I met was a genius ready to explode. Every one I met was a shy lover. Every ONE I met was the Beloved, like a fresh glass of water as clear as the moon, as blue as a ticket.

Everyone I met was my waking up in the middle of the hot and hungry promenade. It’s a purple night rain to begin anything, and everything I will do because I can.

Tag you are it! Oh, my Beloved runs so fast, her skirts flying like pages, her laugh ahead of both of us.

I awoke with the swept-out feeling that comes as stealth as a tooth fairy after weeping. And then I wept again when I awoke to the note in the beak of a dove that cried: Your supernova doesn’t need slow.

I almost started to say to the morning: No more! Enough, enough of this love! I entertained how close I was to wilting into death, or into the well of my hips under the radiance of no walls, of so much home, so, so much Home, and for how perfection has no right angles. Almost, it was a close one.

Like I had gone inside every wrinkled piece of love letter trash and found the map. Like I had spilled out onto the night brick pathway from the empty red plastic party cups drained of their leftover hollers, blisses, cradle cries, magic spells, and 2 a.m. kisses. The quail are yelling at the cats!

Then yes tapped the sweet spot and like the scent of viburnum after the sun has hung up her robes, my raving took me underneath my own soft arms, and lassoed my ribs, and turned me upside down like I was a bottle of molasses for the beloved’s tea.

She laughed, hard, too. This is what I’m for, I think.

There is this sweetness, and this song, and this mirror, and there is no end. There is no slowing down now. There is no such thing as waiting!

There is no more no. There is no death. There was never lack. It’s all now. It’s a backstage pass. It’s the violinist sliding into home base. It’s the mistake of thinking there was such a thing as mistake. It’s the fearlessness of going without bones. It’s a superhero’s cape.

There is only this extra time, and this blackness, and these tears, and this hot urgency strutting out into the world like a lightning bug wooing everything in its path.

Her kiss was as strict and playful as pollen and serious as a pink moon. There’s no going back, and I surrender to it (as if there is such a thing as surrender!) because we made this expanding stage without an exit plan.

We made dimensions out of the indignation of playing human, and the thrill of coming, forever, home, for this extra time, and this…


Jill L. Cooper’s poetry has appeared in various print literary journals, and has been anthologized or is forthcoming in Pontoon (Floating Bridge, 2015), Delirious (Night Ballet Press, 2016), I Only Wanted to See You Laughing (Yellow Chair Review, 2016), and others. She was also the managing editor of an anthology, The Yes Book (Exult Road, 2014).


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