a b i g a i l    z i m m e r

 

 

snowing longer than it rains, flattening


When we woke for the first time


On the Train, 17 People I Don't Love









































snowing longer than it rains, flattening

 

       how fast things become white       a dog lies at my mother's mother's
feet       my mother's mother can't fold        her laundry       every day
women look out windows        with or without the right coats on

       who is stroking my      I see most often men     spitting       while
riding a bike      or walking down the sidewalk      in a yellow raincoat
a man leaving     his empty table     in a bar      on a hill       a man offers
me a drink      hill is too large      for what I mean      there's a narrow
triangle of light      across the river      snow collecting on each slow or
still surface      all the slept-with men      named Joe      easy to remember
though K remaining K         I pass a face I think familiar

       north of here      I remember how small my body         the end(s)      of
trees in a city      I love a stoplight      same sequence      green-yellow-red
or yellow-red-green or     holding a blonde-haired doll on my lap while a
child considers      "words are history / and hoax"       acting, a metal
sculpture      carries a bowl of snow     on her head     what is our
responsibility      to the broad-nosed bat     way up here      in Chicago

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When we woke for the first time

 

we were perched at the tops of trees. We worried about bats in our hair. We

did not want to climb down. The leaves brightened and fell. Our skin dried

and cracked, and so did the earth. Animals crawled out, red-streaked and

ravenous. The orchard shriveled its many fruit.


At that time, animals had things to say and formed a government and told

each other how beautiful they were with so much fur. They were wild about

sunsets.


The smaller ones began eating the larger ones, and the larger ones did not

mind. What was left of their bodies petrified.

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On the Train, 17 People I Don't Love

 

I get a small thrill at the thought of sliding off tracks
and strangers in snow. It's late, and icicles taper to their little points.
A tall, balding man beams down at a girl touching her nose

who shouts Circumference!, who leaves her coat unzipped, who is happy.
A woman in a Russian hat and red lipstick raises her arms, lets them fall.
I think this is my stop, says a cellist aloud, watching the doors close.

Everyone is touching some part of their face.
Today I sat in nine different chairs, I tell the cellist.
and once leaned against a wall and once the edge of a table.

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ABIGAIL ZIMMER is the author of the chapbook, fearless as I seam (Dancing Girl Press, 2014) and lives in Chicago, where she is the poetry editor for The Lettered Streets Press. Her work has appeared in Jellyfish, ILK, Whiskey Island, and The New Megaphone, among others.


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