Sarah Cooper 

Hiding Place

I want to write a poem for you: the woman who hides me in her chest,
a poem that asks you to untangle me

from sinew and organs, a sestina that disallows you to circumvent logic,
or ask: Why? Why? Why?

If you are able to extract this me from your skin,
place me slick in your palms I’d tell you:

 I want to be your favorite hiding place, the body
where you bury love, lips, nights and days.  Let me be

that for you.
  And likely: you would refuse, stitch
dermis tissue, bandage oozing wounds, lick blood

from calloused fingertips: no mess.  I would watch, want
to aid in your relief efforts.  But you get no relief.

And in this eleven-year watching I have come to see
you bury yourself everywhere, leave bread crumb trails

to the yous you think you need, pour concrete over
the yous you want to leave.  Mark maps. You never bury

in the same space fearing more than one you being excavated,
carbon dated.  So when I say I want to be your hiding place I mean:

you won’t need crumbs or maps or shovels.  You will need
to come to me, open your ribcage.


Sarah Cooper is a native of South Carolina.  Currently she teaches at Clemson University, lives with an orange cat and writes poems on front porches. She can be reached at