Dawn Coutu

Crumbling Conditions

He had worn his loafers today, she noticed,
and they were soaked. She gaped, her jaw hung
by hinges of ligament.

Had embraced bone, muscle, fiber.

Mist rose from the ridges where
her eyelashes would have been; eyelids already

turned inside out. She glared at his slapdash fashion,
the clothes that undesirably draped his body.

She displayed her shaky hand at arm’s length.
Tucked her threadbare nails where
she didn’t have to think about the spears

of bone pincing tender breast.
Her heels dug into the eroded soles
of her pumps, she winced.

Each attempt to coerce conversation
had transformed into a downpour, an infection.

She refused to accept his nonchalant lust.

She endured the pain in her heels,
straightened her posture, and strode toward main street.

Before the Bridge Detour

At Dusk

The owl eyes prey,
while squatting
in my lane. I swerve
because there are no
oncoming cars.
The river surges.
I look away, then at the owl,
still in the same spot. In danger. Not
flapping its wings,
not once. It doesn’t bother
fooling itself. When
animals have the ability
to fly, should they?
Must they soar?
Either way, the owl
does not move.

Dawn Coutu is a wordsmith. She received her BA from Chester College of New England and is working on her MFA in poetry at New England College. Her articles and poems have appeared in Today, Ad Hoc Monadnock, So Good, Compass Rose, The Henniker Review, The Tower Journal, and Big Lucks.