Rob Cook | The Collectors

The Collectors

Today the collectors went searching for where we got lost in the skinned autumn

(and the collectors were the windows
lacerating the wind with our faint flickering,

the deer tick myeloma detected in the early losses of a leaf,

the rain walking around like a person).

Today the collectors decided to take away the world where they arrive
always with one story that justifies their invasion:

Because no one truly loves or comprehends his life,
only the most remote harvester recognizes each morning as a new planet:

(the princess from today’s torture recital appearing as a
pond on the wall,

and looming over it, a mountain of jet fuel meadows,

another light growing among the life lamps).

And the collectors found the clippings we played with like the days left
in a mutilated book, the sky’s owner having ordered the mutilation
of all books.

They discovered—huddled between the car lights whispering through
the curtains—the temperature at which the house’s innards disappear
and the batteries that generate 
each new minute run dry,

our bodies minced by a sharp breeze into the many daddy long-leg
buttons that remember 
us, while the light shines by itself

i.e. with the fingerprints of previous collectors looking to repossess the
good wishes we don’t deserve,

roaming at the speed of a cloud generated by the room’s raw,
cat-scraped shag.

Rob Cook’s most recent book is Last Window in the Punk Hotel (Rain Mountain Press, 2016). He is a member of the retro-hetero duo Cook-Dickinson. Recent/ancient work appears in Under a Warm Green Linden, Sweet, Across the Margin, Epiphany, Verse, The Laurel Review, Chattahoochee Review, Midwestern Gothic, Thrice Fiction, and The Antioch Review.Considered among the most annoying individuals anyone has ever known, he has added a memorized and semi-botched version of “The Bells” to his already bloated repertoire of party-wrecking props.