Colleen O'Brien

Matisse

Whether the letters of an unread headline
Whether the newt-rabbit, blue and virile
Whether sketched or sculpted, the thorn extractor
Who competes with the stickpot geranium,

The woman is the wallpaper
The woman is the stuffed cushion
The large-eared decorative housecat
Is the house’s bathing heart.

Colleen O’Brien’s short stories and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in North American Review, Sonora Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, CutBank, and elsewhere. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with her husband, Brandon Krieg.
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