4 poems – Constance Hooker Koons

Poor Jesus 
 
Intermingled with emails    
from hot horny models,   
offers of ED help, notices 
that people are looking 
at my LinkedIn profile, 
ads for Elixir of Eros                      
and 24-hour bathroom  
remodels - I’m suddenly 
receiving daily junk mail  
from Jesus Christ. 
 
Subject – The biblical  
error they don’t want  
you to know or a question –  
Exodus error causing  
you pain? What wayward  
algorithm or misguided  
bot directed these emails  
my way?  
 
Poor Jesus. Bad enough 
he is trotted out to defend 
odious practices, ideas.  
Now he’s being dumped  
ignominiously in a junk 
mail folder. I haven’t  
clicked on a message yet.  
God knows what promise 
of salvation or solicitation 
they contain. 
 
~ ~ ~
  
What Happened 


 
How did we travel from rainforest to tundra? 
 
Did I make it all up, splash on too much red, 
drape too much on your spare frame? 
 
Was it me, my baroque temperament? 
 
Was it your stabbing minimalism? 
 
What about the four hundred nights (or was it five) 
     when you held my hand while we slept? 
 
It meant nothing? 
 
Didn’t I walk home mornings in summer fog, flushed 
     with sleep and our lovemaking – or was that another 
 
time and another lover who used to live a few houses 
     down the road from you? 
 
Do I always make it up? 
 
Are lovers interchangeable? (you said there was some truth 
     to that, you a skeleton key that can open many locks)   
 
Do you believe that? 
 
Do I? 


~ ~ ~


It’s My Fault 

(Can you steal a place or a dream?)

 
I talked it up too much, sang  
its praises, hardscrabble, rough- 
edged Rockland, the Breakwater 
Light that juts out nearly a mile 
into the harbor, the secluded rest 
area overlooking Glen Cove, fresh 
Darkstar coffee from Rock City,  
the haddock at Hill’s Seafood, free 
Fridays at the Farnsworth. 
 
And I didn’t stop there. I gushed,  
as if I was bragging about a new 
lover, had to show you Crescent  
Beach across the channel from  
the fir-covered islands of Mussel  
Ridge, drag you up the steep stairways 
to the Owls Head Light, drive to the top 
of Mt. Battie, introduce you to Millay. 
 
I boasted, showed off. My lover died,  
but I still had the place, the crooked  
peninsulas, Penobscot Bay. It was mine 
before I pimped it out for your pleasure. 
I know - it’s my fault. I was besotted, hasty,  
careless, possessed of a heady feeling  
that I could be someone else there.  
 
This is where I am now, my manifesto -  
I no longer yearn for one man, a dot  
on the landscape, one star in the sky.  
I want the entire sky. I claim as mine 
the sound of the sea sloshing against  
pylons, the groaning of the wooden docks 
as they lift and fall, the screeching gulls, 
the knotted seaweed, the smashed shells. 
I want the whole goddamn ocean as far  
as my eyes can see, southeast to Matinicus, 
to the windmills on Vinalhaven. 
 
I want it back, all of it.  


~ ~ ~


Facebook Voyeur  

 
I hadn’t seen you since Mom’s funeral 
in 2004 and there you were, dissecting 
a lobster, daintily sucking its red claws,  
your perfectly manicured nails, shapely 
fingers spread wide. 
 
It was as if someone shot the video 
to demonstrate how to eat a lobster  
like a lady. Ladylike, such a concern 
in our childhood. As if nailing this part 
guaranteed a good and safe life. 
 

The video – vintage Mom, vain  
Mom – the exaggerated gestures,  
calculated flourishes. She left 
her mark on you, that small wine 
stain birthmark on your left wrist. 

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