Lauren Hilger & Kay Cosgrove


The pool has filled after the rainstorm.

To anyone who’s ever walked around it,
to anyone there right now, lay down your
stones, the pyramid does not point north. Admit
this party has changed you, whether you
hauled bricks on your back or crossed ankles.
Children are versions of us, admittedly,
trying to stay afloat. Someone had to dig this out
and build downward first. Each mom angles
toward morning, the first light, water poured
into cement lanes. Relieve them the weight.
Relieve me the task of nobility. No sanctuaries
or miniatures. Carry the swell of geometry,
next to but not inside the rectangular water.

Next to but not inside the rectangular water,
the circular idea, the yachting circuit of
what can’t be or won’t or will. Facts vary
from month to month, and this party, down
cast in terror, pours itself out, radiating
with leaf shadows and laughter. How
many lifetimes, laps, imperfect and
misremembered, will I be in a wet bathing
suit and wet heart? Lay down my walls.
Lend that shy, extinct warmth I’ve heard
exists elsewhere. The sun hardens
anything that sits still, gives shape
to the shapeless water, a concretized wish:
topless or barefoot, at least one thing known.

KAY COSGROVE AND LAUREN HILGER have published their collaborative poetry in The Blueshift Journal, Cimarron Review, Puerto del Sol, Salamander, and Washington Square. For more information, visit and


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