Cordelia Naumann


The Joneses across the street gave birth to their third child. Assigned female at birth, they are waiting for her to identify. They call her Horse. On occasion, Horse escapes, goes door-to-door, and forages for food.

People have figured out that the fireworks are just that, and why are there so many people outside the gun store?

Dog adoptions are up, as are people complaining about dog poop on Nextdoor. Your puppy turned seven this year.

We all got fit, or fat. We won’t know until next year when the Peloton pays for itself, or it doesn’t. Gen Z continues to negotiate time off to surf.

The number of crows has now matched or exceeded the world population.

The cat still doesn’t care.


I wanted this to be beautiful for you.

In the photo I had of you, before I
gave away all my memories, your face is hidden,
arms outstretched to the right, sun on your olive skin.
Your dreadlocks fall around your downward gaze,
illuminated like light through the Catalpa.
And if I animate you in the time between
first light and dawn, your boyish smile and
sleepy brown eyes light up my morning,
even though you’re gone.

I missed you like you missed Reya, after Camilla took her away.
I watched your story like an endless election night, and
my longing never waned.
I watched you search, fly, drain accounts, dent couches.
I hoped you would hold your daughter again.

Hopes for 2021 Include

The bat, understood
Glass slaughterhouses
Soft ground for red geraniums
Using the term scarcity in a sentence
Fewer planes, the return of the songbird

I know nothing more than you were reunited, a decade later. The last words
I read were: “She’s ok. By bedtime last night she was cool,” you said.
You all returned to Norway. Camilla took up singing again.

Two years later, you died in your sleep. They call that a good death.
I found a selfie of you on Instagram, electrodes attached to
your hard, lean, body. Why did you shave your beautiful dreads?
I don’t know how you died, on account of no account.
I let the mystery be.

Did your heart break, or finally unbreak, leaving nothing left of longing?
Maybe you came here to do what
you needed to, to grace us with your beauty,
and show us the depths of a father’s love.

Hopes Now Include

Let love lead me
Let the mystery be


Grey, a Saluki from Qatar, whined on the drive to Vallejo because
he thought he was being given away. His keepers sat driver and shotgun,
watching life drain from the hills, the landscape pure strip, pure mall.
“Settle down!” they repeated, until they gave up and settled down themselves.

But at the reunion, but there. Grey’s cousins were there.
The Borzois, The Greyhounds, and more Salukis like Grey.
Grey played hard on leash with an errant hound until
we stopped him from hanging himself. Then he laid down in the cool grass, and thought of nothing but then.

At reunion’s end we set up a racetrack for Grey and his friends, and
he ran nothing like in the sands of Qatar, and we felt guilty there were no dusty rabbits.
So a wise woman read his tarot cards, and he laid his head on her dirty feet, and dreamt of nothing but now.

0-23CORDELIA NAUMANN is a poet, minimalist, and urban nature lover living in San Bruno, CA. She has two poems published by Indolent Books.

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