Down in the mouth that swallows the potion
poured so carefully in, down in the gut
where it goes, something’s awry:
the funnel made of paper soaked,
wrapped too tight around itself,
too thin to hold liquid
too buoyant to drown.
The test itself a test—
study so blind it remains unnamed.
Language can’t corrupt it, can’t let it
spread rumors, the facts intact
despite their provenance, their
clipped insistence on closure.
Their bright revelations that startle the blackout.
Wyn Cooper has published five books of poetry, including, most recently, Mars Poetica. His poems, stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Diode, AGNI, The Southern Review, Five Points, Slate, among others. He is a former editor of Quarterly West, and the recipient of a fellowship from the Ucross Foundation.