Image by Juliana Toro

Poetry Bóín Dé

Timothy Donnelly


Little cow of god, the wattage of your red
reverberates the earth, and spots of onyx nestle
on its lacquer like fixed stars. Bravissima! You are red’s
least loud-mouthed ambassador, paradise’s miniscule half-apple

mobilized by a half-dozen legs, and under
the split-open dome of you: gold-leaf wings, folded over
esoterically, like dress patterns, whose thinness whispers to the near-
devotional care called for to pin them out properly.

Meanwhile, your antennae, animate, demonstrate
sensitivity with a nonchalance that shames the bureaucrat.
Thanks for that! You serve purpose in the garden, but at the moment
what matters is I see you…

Little cow of god, who had been sleeping on a pom-pom
I sewed by hand onto a store-bought curtain till I jostled you
awake, you who flew to my laptop’s light and landed on the staves of
my worksurface, tell me — am I dying?

Little cow, blood-drop omen, stopped in front of me like a whole
note in a chorus that celebrates the invisible
labor of useless thought — you who had grown tired, I have grown
old, but is it over, our irrelevant haven, this thimble’s worth of song?

Timothy Donnelly’s books include The Cloud Corporation, winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, The Problem of the Many, and Chariot, which will be published by Wave Books this spring. He teaches at Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn.