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Taylor Cornelius

In September the streets are still summer slick, heat and wrappers and ice cream in the gutters. I’m at the intersection of Broadway and 1st, there’s a bowling alley to my right and hipsters glutting themselves on fancy pizza across the street. Between the two of us, the summer is winning, and I’m jean short sweat on my ass and sunburned shoulders. I sip a Pisco sour until my head spins, and we sit at the window at Leña eating chips and argue about the best way to relax. Should I cut my hair short? Is it too hot for long hair is it hot to have it short? Up the mountain a Steller’s jay lands on a gum stuck rock in the parking lot and I’m spellbound by the elk. They are whistling at this time of year to stake their claim on one another. The park is yielding. Aspens at the turnpike at the summit at the edge are obliged to fall. At Broadway I enumerate this west, cowboy knitted and turquoise studs in my ears, wave a salted finger out at the early evening clouds and say here it is babe, here it all is, couldn’t you just cry? Couldn’t you just eat it up? And you don’t say anything, but the block settles, a streetlight changes, I’m turning and I leave you behind. The bats are out now, glide and swoop through halos of bugs, consume it all open their wings to fold up the night.

Taylor Cornelius is a poet, artist, and writer from Denver, Colorado. She is the recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets prize at Kenyon College, and a former Kenyon Review fellow. A recent graduate of New York University’s MFA program in poetry, she currently lives in Brooklyn.

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