Contact Solution

I bend to the hard bead 
of sap, and breathe. 
Come bail me out, sings 
the canoe to the moon. 
I crawl through a cannon. 
Scene: a parting shot. 
Birds like tire scraps 
along an interstate. 
It widows me: flask weather, 
egg carton clouds. Clouds 
like empty finger casts. 
I scream when the neighbours 
do so they’ll think 
I’m watching the game. 
Kissing sounds compose 
the dogs. I strike, as one would 
a set. Once, I screamed 
when Mrs. Peterson went 
into labor. She rushed 
to the taxi in a fur coat 
like some kind of car wash. 
The epic ends: I am still 
in love. See the simple black 
of the bear’s hide? It was achieved 
with three hundred whumps 
of the press. Sprinklers spur 
the stucco. At the last moment, 
the first diver produces 
a glass of water from his sleeve. 
Come bail me out, I sing 
to the wall. I circular breathe. 
I wake with glitter in 
my beard. I wake trying to scrape 
off my beard. Men are peeling 
windows from the buildings, 
revealing bricks. I will wash 
my mouth out with sugar. 
I am not a newspaperman, 
that is a photograph of my lover 
in my hatband. 

The War on Sorrow

At the airport, I will be the one 
wearing an airport. I will stand like this 
so I appear to be running. I will use 
the artificial tree as a terrorist 
would. I will stand like this until you appear. 
Our gang: the snapdragons. Your migraine, 
with rainfall. My weathering, in dandelions. 
I glue the fluff back on. The cold woke me. 
I was yawning in my sleep. I sucked 
the olive pit for the entire ferry. 
Beaded curtain rhymed pleated skirt hem. 
It’s just dumb fate. I drove in, as a nail. 
Diacritical clouds on imaginary bluffs. 
Night as hair out the back of a hat. 
Hanging like a key on a nail. Stet: let it stand. 
The hero sits and you realize he has been traveling 
all this time with a shot leg. It is a key for 
a hotel room in Vegas. You can take it 
anytime. An untrained voice passes, 
it is passable. Explicit, if not explicable, 
I strain to see through the bird feeder suctioned 
to the glass. Ending: well all is hope. 
As one who cannot flee, yet flies. 
It doesn’t matter. You can say anything you have to. 

The Bandito in the Bistrot

Face like a shovel: dirt and all. 
I try to get full on sugar packs. 
Toe through a sock hole like a pumpkin seed. 
At the last moment, a glass of water appears, 
and the diver lands. This is a love letter 
because I received it. A love letter 
but only I can see it. Trees spun 
to a storm grove’s sides like shirts 
in a washer. A tip jar out. It tips, it jars, 
it’s out. So, we had it out out in it. 
Did we. Had these envelopes licked. 
The rabbit scares each night at the same 
spot on the lawn. I carry desire 
like a kid with a sleeping bag 
on a school bus. He will wake with Cheerios 
thread in his hair. We don’t pull through, 
in the usual sense. We are pulled through, and pull 
something through, as worms 
threading a shell’s maze. My father said 
put canvas over the barbed wire and all 
I have is this priceless Mona Lisa. Nurse logs, 
rain worms, Billie Holiday tapes. 
A canteen. Bales of star. I suck the cold air in 
to soothe my gums. Assuming the Mona Lisa 
is the most beautiful thing. I tunnel out. 
As long as I never surface, I cannot be caught. 
Look: from the ground up, I unfold like a paperclip. 
In winter light like snap peas. 


Zach Savich’s poems have appeared in Colorado ReviewMid-American ReviewBeloit Poetry JournalSeneca Review, and other magazines. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has recently taught at the University of Iowa, the University of Washington’s Creative Writing Seminar in Rome, and in American-Indian communities. This summer, his poetry class at Victoria University will be investigating divination, foolishness, memory, epistles, and the imagination.