colleen coyne /AGRYPNIA & ORIGIN MYTH

A Syn via Flickr


When we die, we’ll be hungry
you said. Enough for an orange peeled
by imperfect hands.
Perhaps I, too, have a plan—
find a bionic sister who’s in the mood
for synchrony.

Saved women usually keep ghosts,
some knowledge soft in the bones.
Their secret is like red fruit, bleeding
all over probing fingers. Starving
for a warm meal.

Let’s stay up all night, reading poems
from the future. The pilot light—that smallest eye—
closed under a cold stove.

Origin Myth

Perhaps it’s not in our blood, this trade
of treading water. Wary of the foot’s slide
from limb to lily pad.

Retrace our steps to know for sure.
The river’s loose groove
is no match for the bough.

Fetch us a larva-light landscape, and we’ll put things
right again. Only the proto-philosopher could rust
so perfectly, the reaction spreading
out from the pupil, cool and contagious.

These rings are rotten peels
clinging to a discarded core.
Wavering on its axis.

The poison makes a strong showing, but the most natural
and most cursed disaster is desire,
which can still the seeds of the universe.

Applaud the worm and his creature companions,
their resourceful oxidation—
then ask the obvious questions:

What prompted the first questions?
And, when called on to report its progress, how could the tree
know its flowers by their fruits alone?

Colleen Coyne is the author of the chapbook Girls Mistaken for Ghosts (dancing girl press, 2015), and her work appears in DIAGRAM, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, Tupelo Quarterly, New Delta Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches writing at Framingham State University and works as a freelance writer and editor. Find out more at