Four Poems by Hajara Quinn

Four Poems by Hajara Quinn


Yesterday on my lunch
break I stopped
to buy a sweater
from the second hand store
on the corner.

The wind was a whipped up
remix of every wind since
Juno’s fury.

“It’s so windy
that it’s windig” I texted you—

then walked into
the abacus of the racks.

We live corralled by
or against
a reality
that is as though
dreamt by a mechanical bull.

Dismay aside,
to what extent
could we always have seen it coming

or read it in the way
the buttercups of childhood
shined our chins
like overturned chalices—

Cold comforts:
I could count them
On a marsupial’s fingers.



On a hot day in August
in the leopard print
shadow of an ample
maple, I laid down
and made myself scarce.
The day paused,
passed me over—
I was as the tape
in the jammed
tape deck of your
parents’ station wagon
while the five o’clock
turned into an eight o’clock shadow
and the panther crept up beside me
and laid down
his sack of peppercorns.



In line, two choreographers
are talking about a third choreographer.

I arrive in my body,
take my coffee to go.
If my fingers were just slightly

longer I could gesture
come hither deeper.

Like a newly-minted
choreographer of my days
I am walking out the sliding glass door,

plotting the number of steps
back to the meuse.



On this, her 33rd
birthday, what vexed her
above all
was the unmistakable sense
that up until now
she’d spent her days
living vicariously
through entirely
the wrong set of people.

Her father would say
that the problem
was that she lacked
an entrepreneurial
spirit, but that wasn’t it

Perhaps the problem was that
she hadn’t thrown
herself around enough
before settling like a piece
of dust settles for the sill.

Equally likely was
the possibility that she’d
been too thrown, no
longer taut with rising action, but
loosened, and loosening.

The time had long since arrived
for the dry lip of the vase
to be wet again
and the daisies
weren’t going to
gather themselves

but how’s this
for entrepreneurial spirit:
a woman splitting a melon
with the strength of her inner thighs.

Hajara Quinn is the author of Coolth (Big Lucks, 2018).

The Devil Says Maybe at Happy House

The Devil Says Maybe at Happy House

From "Tony Wolk: Letters, 1981-2027"

From "Tony Wolk: Letters, 1981-2027"