Cognition by Whitney Walters

This poem was selected by our guest editor, Joe Russo.

“You are not oblivious, the silent half-moon gap of your lips is more persuasive
than any words you could possibly utter.”

Cognition by Whitney Walters

Don’t you know
you are the relief of standing on shore, eyes closed,
inundated by the waves’ cadence and
encompassed by the baked breeze at twilight?

It shouldn’t surprise you
that your words-sometimes-where-they’re-supposed-to-be
humming, whistling, singing hushes my hurtling notions.

Does it seem so unusual
that fall’s tangy scent of charcoal, frost,
cider, and stained-glass leaves is yours?

You are not oblivious
the silent half-moon gap of your lips is more persuasive
than any words you could possibly utter.

Are you aware
I would limit no motion of mine just to lean my cells
into the softened leather nook of your shoulder?

It is no coincidence
you can predict my inconsistencies, anxieties,
contradictions, and quirks.

You must know
your teasing is the end of me,
and I would be unhappier without it.

This is what you tell me.
But you should know this:
Your sleeping form shifts to my side of the bed
when I get up in the morning.

I know
my love.
I know.


Whitney (Walters) Jacobson is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth and an assistant editor of Split Rock Review. Her poetry, creative nonfiction, and reviews have been published or are forthcoming in Assay, DASH, Up North Lit, Wanderlust-Journal, and The Thunderbird Review, among other publications.

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