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
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
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zach Savich’s poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Mid-American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Seneca 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.