The Colors of an Abnormal Brain/Corporeal Alchemy/I Am Two Poems by Amy Kotthaus

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The Colors of an Abnormal Brain

Erratic heartbeats

jackhammer my chest at the

sight of white paper.

Green pills free me

to be the wife and mother,

but keep me up at

night. I need a new color.

Now I sleep, without nightmares.

White capsules chase them

off until garish morning comes.

Oval, pink tablets

lock my fears in a glass safe

to be seen, not felt.

I take the light blues with red

hands, cracked from washing,

to halt rituals, rituals, rituals-

to halt rituals.

Corporeal Alchemy

Such death is little more than passion realized.

Two conduits, one searching, one waiting,

are hurled together by mindless imperative.

Like Origen’s bird, ending, living embers,

they create anew.


So does cruel tradition, born from accident,

chain matter to form.

Form quickens to understanding.

Justifications of divine mandate and humanism

are two blind helmsmen guiding paper ships.


The primordial covenant of flesh is kept.

We engage in this perpetuation of possibility,

yearning to kill our bodies and our self

to create self; a memesis less and more.

This biological metronome, corporeal alchemy,

is the steady keeper of man’s time.


I Am

    Two Poems


The voice over CB radio, taking a rain check from someone’s husband;

                                                                                 It’s that time of the month.


The handwriting on backdated child support checks.

                                                                                 Call me mom.


The girl touched by her future husband at 12 years old.

                                                                                 It was consensual.


The eager nod when a man tells everyone he just can’t get rid of her.

                                                                                 Surely, he’s joking.


The awkward laugh when she says his other son is her favorite.

                                                                                 Old people say things.


I am all things save for whoever it is I am.


Amy Kotthaus is a writer, painter, translator, and photographer. Her work includes poetry, Latin translation, abstract painting, and black and white photography. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Southern Maine, and she currently lives in Maine with her husband and children.

Sent from my iPhone


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