Susan Cossette: “The Persistence of Memory”





The Persistence of Memory

If novelists die before they finish their stories
whole worlds evaporate.
Snowy trees at grey solstice sunset,
bare branches twisted with awful secrets.
Sad lines of cars inch home,
tiny ants high over the I-394 overpass.
Each with its own self-contained history.

Twenty or so mourners, some in person, 
others on webcam, gather for a pandemic-age wake.
Families open Christmas presents
in front of the TV Yule log instead of a fireplace.
Everyone stops existing.

I am not afraid 
because I write poetry 
and once I finish a poem it is done.
The next one is a zygote in my mental ovaries
that hasn’t found a sperm cell to coax it to life.

Left behind like overripe cheese,
or ice cream melting in the sun.



About the Author: Susan Cossette lives and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Author of Peggy Sue Messed Up, she is a recipient of the University of Connecticut’s Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust and MothVita Brevis, ONE ARTAs it Ought to Be,Anti-Heroin ChicThe Amethyst Review, Crow & Cross Keys, Loch Raven Review, and in the anthologies Fast Fallen Women (Woodhall Press) Tuesdays at Curley’s (Yuganta Press),and After the Equinox.


More by Susan Cossette:

She Waits Behind the Drapes


Image Credit: Marjory Collins “Washington, D.C. Salvage drive, Victory Program. Books and old lantern stored in District wholesale junk company warehouse” (1942) The Library of Congress. Public Domain

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