Casey Elizabeth Newbegin: Two Poems
for Bill Cosby
New magnolias with their riotous aroma
herald this seasonal revolution.
Their authentic freshness at odds
with your false decrepitude.
Sometimes there is justice. The Golden
State killer is not gone in the dark
and you will die cursing at closed doors.
Petals carpet the churchyard.
Your thick sweaters are no protection
against this merciless spring.
The sea flows the way I don’t,
though I am meant to mirror
its tides, their swell and ebb,
as the moon clothes and unclothes
herself monthly. I am late
a week or more,
chewing my cuticles until they bleed,
wearing salt-mist in my hair.
The last boy was a drummer
with callouses and blood blisters
on his fingers. (Should I call them men
now that they pose this threat to me?)
He was playful but not gentle –
so often they touch me like
the thing they love best: paint
on a palette, a vibrating string,
computer keys, scalpel.
I attend my pulse and shovel
sand over my feet;
the mound grows and grains
trickle back to the beach.
The waves roll a sea shanty
I learned as a child:
A drop of Nelson’s blood wouldn’t do us any harm
A night with the girls
wouldn’t do us any harm.
Casey Elizabeth Newbegin lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY, where she works in art restoration. She is the author of the chapbook Northern California Lightning Series and her work has previously appeared in Off the Coast, Windfall, Plainsongs, and The Sandy River Review.