Coleman Hough: Two Poems

Coleman Hough is a poet, playwright, and screenwriter. Her screen credits include Bubble and Full Frontal, both directed by Steven Soderbergh. Her plays have been produced in Los Angeles at Theatre of N.O.T.E. and Padua Playwrights. She has performed her monologues in NYC and LA. Her poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, The Louisville Review, and The Brooklyn Rail. She currently resides in Santa Monica, CA and is writing/producing the film, Walking into Walls, her personal documentary about living with Parkinson’s disease while pursing a creative life.



An orange
is orange
it’s born that way
grows up in a tree
sucking the veins
of its mother
until it falls
to the ground
saved by the roundness
that keeps it whole.

But let me tell you
the skin
of an orange
is not to be trusted
it sweats
in your palm
like a guard
being bribed
wants to be broken
touched inside
where it’s deep
and perfect.


Before Sleep

Before sleep
mother would fly in
land at the edge of my bed
stiff in her evening clothes
her skin cool
tight against my cheek
as if she were custard
chilled in a china cup.

She would press her fragrant face
on one side or another
of my neck
just behind my hair
lean in to whisper
brownish tastes on her tongue
not my mother at all
but the weight of her
the sudden flight
perfuming the darkness that followed her out.

What are you looking for?