Cool by Keith Leonard

Of the cool, I am a zoologist. Of the cool,
I have learned what obliterates.
They grow older. They suddenly
dance and sing in public. They tickle their tiny ones.
They share a bottle of wine with the still-cool
and forget what it was that made them friends.
I once held distance dearly. Lately, it’s become a dread.
I know it’s coming: the year he’ll want nothing
to do with me. He’ll grow his hair long,
and eat cooly in the kitchen, then head upstairs
to his room again. How is it we become
such pure hyperbole? It’s possibly dangerous
to love this wildly. It’s possibly unavoidable.

Keith Leonard is the author of the poetry collection Ramshackle Ode (Mainer/HarperCollins, 2016). His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in The Believer, New England ReviewPloughshares, and elsewhere. Keith has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.