I said to Love––let me

wash this darkness from my heart,

this long awaited bitter hope

that someday

I would begin anew.


Let her step from the terrace

with only a gold chain

round her waist

& speak quite bold of

perishing things


that falling

uphold my wandering

way to Number One Joy Street

where covenants trade pains

burning so bright.


Before it seemed night itself

meant to cherish my emptiness

with millions of stars,

each as useless as heavy rains

driving into the sea.


And Love said to me––this

moment’s cold weighs sweet

upon the soul that equal & unknown

its life with you anew begins

at Number One Joy Street.


1 January 2001


Spoken word version from Emergency Juke Joint.

Copyright © 2000 by Jim Cohn.

Text from Quien Sabe Mountain (Museum of American Poetics Publications).

Copyright © 2004 by Jim Cohn.