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[Poetry] Two Poems by Nicole Cosme


I imagine her name is Cassandra,

She hates to be called Cassie

She hates wanting to fit in,

but she doesn’t realize it yet

She wraps her arms around his neck too often.

Their skin sticks without intending to linger

He would rather be wrestling, so he does

She stands by and watches

She doesn’t speak to anyone

And nobody speaks to her

Not even the girls her own age,

Especially not the girls her own age

Nobody tries; too busy trying not to—

She keeps adjusting her swimsuit,

Her straps are too high in the back

She pushes out her chest, sucks in her stomach

Hands on her hips, moves where he moves

His name must be Evan, or Ethan, or Ian

They turn their heads like confused puppies,

Kiss like they’ve seen in the movies that scare him

Never standing too close for too long;

Little bird appetite

She wants to share his boogie board,

But he doesn’t notice, doesn’t want to notice

He floats away and she follows

Talks to no one, touches him whenever she can

Like it’s what she’s supposed to do

He wrestles and she watches

Sticks her chest out farther when he wins,

Celebrates with no one,

Adjusts her straps, lifts her tits, arms on her hips

Stands by waiting to be touched

By hands that don’t know who they want to satisfy

Would rather body slam his best friend

They are not pretending, they are only wrestling

They gather their things to leave

While the wind gathers sand in sheet dunes

She covers herself in a too-big tee and combat boots

and waits in the heat.

Give Me the Death I Need

Inspired by the Inuit tale “Skeleton Woman” as told by Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Women Who Run with Wolves

I climbed the shipwreck to kiss your ugliest side

And welcome the flow of false notes or whatever

urges you to the seabed. collect skeletons,

coax the pieces back in place with salt and olive

branches, contented to lay the work down and rest

beside the creature, that brave hunter is virtue

despite a raised blade— still time until it comes down,

the stench misdirects the soul, the wounded creature

needs space to compose its bones, full of sand and peace

and vacancy of its own, all one when alone

Nicole Cosme is a poet from New England. She was an award winner in the 2021 Writer's Digest Competitions and her work has appeared in Prime Number Magazine, Sky Island Journal, Seisma magazine, The Decadent Review, and elsewhere. She is a community coordinator at Groundwork Co-working and is passionate about promoting the arts and literacy in her community. Nicole earned her BS in communication science from Bridgewater State University and has accumulated over a decade of experience in child care and health and human service fields. Currently, she is working on developing an interactive youth book club for kids and teens. Outside of her work, Nicole enjoys hiking, gardening, science fiction, and snuggling with her two dogs, Buddha and Oscar. Visit for a full list of her published work.

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