Ruth Ellen Kocher

Issue #
September 8, 2014

When She is Awake

Red velvet cake is my favorite cake a woman thinks while she waits for the mail— Her robe
doesn’t fit but it is the robe She wore all night in her bed— Some kind of purple— Some
kind of cloth    Some scent of herself over a scent of detergent    Mostly she thinks this

All night in her bed she imagined there was a man  She imagined his hair was locked   His
breath was bad    She imagined he snored and she could not sleep

She finds the man funny too as dark things make you feel a dark lift inside you    To say
dream means to be part of something

I am never part of she thinks

The woman watches late night TV The yellow and orange slanted roofs of Ipanema segue
black swans in a pond easily    The woman thinks I have a name    I have never seen a black swan

The red velvet of red velvet cake makes The woman feel as though she eats Botticelli’s
Madonna Adoring the Child with Five Angels

There is no man she thinks there is no man there is no man there is no man there is no
woman in my bed and she should say I am alright but she isn’t

The red velvet makes The woman feel as though she’s eating Botticelli’s Madonna and Child
with an Angel or Caravaggio’s Sacrifice of Isaac or Caravaggio’s John the Baptist in the Desert    The
woman eats Caravaggio everything

She takes her lazy robe inside    She takes her slippers which are slippers inside Red velvet
steeps the red of baroque An ordinary thing The woman mumbles though    The woman
she dreams cannot hear her

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