Between breaths

the floorboards

creak, settle

under silent exhalations.


These cold wood floors

dozens of winter ghosts.

The windows

have not been opened

for months.

We have been wading

through our rooms

with baskets

we’ve woven

of dried grass and hairpins.


We gather the softest sighs,

hold them to the light.

Touch their spider-web innards.

Call this intimacy. 

We Cannot Always Live Among Trees


There are no clouds,

there is no dampness,

so this sunshine glares against

these new soft leaves

happy among their branches

and I am bitter

with the light,

I am last year’s dried leaves.


In the breeze—

a honeysuckle bush

bends down and touches

my cheek, I smile,

she bends down again and grazes

my nose, I laugh.


Then I am laughing and she keeps

bending, I am bending, we are

greeting one another,

and then I must cry

because how many people

do we have like this.

Laura McCoy lives in east-central New York State. Her poems have been published in 491 Magazine, the Aurorean, Blueline, and The Cape Rock. She is a graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts. 


Highways and overpasses

of the sloping lands where the Mohawk

falls into the Hudson.

Reddish in the morning river fog,

dense pockets of streetlights,

brownstones, telephone wires.

Clearings with old train cars

cragged over by sumac.

Me trying to catch

between the bridge supports

the flash of water,

languid as a lake.

Every time I return home

I sew the valley shut again.

The thread never breaks,

this landscape folds thin.

In each direction, mountains hidden.