She takes a taxi – Gemma Cooper-Novack

and scatters leftover petals into backseat seams
and lies back on her mother’s leg
buttercreamed and resplendent

she wore pink and yellow and silver and when
her hand arced through the aisle
everyone watched

she tapped a butter knife on a juice glass
and just like adults
when she spoke everyone listened

the room was a cavern
joy trimming every wall
so many napkins and ribbons

she lies back with window cracked as the city whistles by
one day
this will all be hers

Gemma Cooper-NovackGemma Cooper-Novack’s debut poetry collection We Might As Well Be Underwater, a finalist for the Central New York Book Award, was published by Unsolicited Press in 2017. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in more than twenty journals, including Glass, Midway Journal, and Lambda’s Poetry Spotlight, and been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes and Best of the Net Awards. Her plays have been produced in Chicago, Boston, and New York. Gemma was a runner-up for the 2016 James Jones First Novel Fellowship; she has been awarded artist’s residencies from Catalonia to Virginia and a grant from the Barbara Deming Fund. She is a doctoral candidate in Literacy Education at Syracuse University.