Two Poems by Caleb Coy

I don’t imagine you’ll be having any grappa
After my pushing too far to get into
That head of yours.

I see you in the ceiling shadows
I feel you like great eels nibbling beneath me.

The hush of the farm on Sabbath Day
Like the soundless church mouse
Before bellies are branded.

The antlered stag instinctively rubs velvet— Forgive
me, I’m muddying the waters—I’m playing with you.

They say Deborah drove a spike into Sisera
We name some drinks after women
I’ll call my hangovers Deborah.

The tacit agreement of two consenting adults
is all that I am pursuing here.

I delight myself in my imagination, and
You do not. You berate me for my imagination
For my fastidious appetites.

Your tolerance for me is growing.
I dreamed of you with me, a triumph.

I will never deny you.
You will always be to me a perfection
Until the last, the very last.

My heart—take it out, I’ll let you know
if it hurts. I’ll have another shot.

*A meal-concluding drink, usually a liquor served with or after coffee.


Cobbler Gnomes
They say the age of the local Mom & Pop
     is over, and
In times of affliction to plead
     for a consultation with cobbler gnomes.

A night in the garage fumbling in the corners
     tracing the silver lining
Eating in the dark to save light or opportunity
     in a bolo tie when the sky falls.

Cooler heads prevail in the prevailing winds
     a suitcase in the trunk
Knowing we could die on a routine road
     without a moment for regret.

The eyes of the people are upon their bedrock
     not on our sickness;
The Shambala of the world jangles
     in our pockets.


About the Poet

Caleb Coy is a freelance writer and editor with a M.A. in English from Virginia Tech. He lives in Christiansburg, VA with his wife and two sons. His work has appeared in The Common, Flyway, and Harpur Palate. He is the author of the 2015 novel, “An Authentic Derivative.”