The Body’s Hum
I’m a tick adrift in pin grass waiting for you
to brush close enough to give me passage.
I’m in metaphase along the equatorial plane
of your spindle, an ice needle eager to melt
in your tangled mess. I’m a fence lizard
semaphoring love with my third eyelid,
the twinge in your inner thigh, the must
in your marrow. I’m the gravel bit lodged
in the sole of your shoe, the hinge of your limp,
the ring in your ear, the message commingled,
the body’s hum.
Saturday After the End of the World
When I refuse to rake the leaves,
they enter the house, slipping in
when the dogs go out. One,
perhaps maple, stares at me now
from under the futon.
Geese gather by the edge
of the road on both sides
of the exit ramp. The air
smells like fire in a drizzling rain.
The song stuck in my heart
is a Capella.
I count food trucks lined by the curb
on my drive home. Hunger fogs
my windows as I long
for sweet chicory brew
or syrupy vodka sloshed
in a jelly jar.
Arriving to an empty house
is a luxury I cannot
afford. I try to explain
to my kids how this endless dance,
this living from can't see
in the morning to can't see
at night is reason enough.
I'm not a good liar.
Tonight, when I pull in
the driveway, I sit and listen
to some concerto
in B flat minor.
If I open the door,
the music will die.
Through the passenger window
I watch a squirrel chittering
warnings. Looking up I see
a red-shouldered hawk looking back.
There must be a prayer
for moments like this.
What chance that you’ll come back
as a toddler who recently
discovered pockets, belly out
hands deep milk drunk? What treasures
are found in the folds -- wilted
dandelions, rocks enough to fill
a quarry or skip across
the river Styx one two three.
If the confused moon stays all day,
you will not bother it.
As long as you have stories,
words like moss on a black rock,
or like a river that runs
past mud flats to a hidden house,
until all is lost in the current’s
fat tongue. Along the Missouri,
you discover what’s left -
a foundation, steps leading
nowhere, a garden in bloom.
JIM ZOLA has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for Deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children's librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook -- The One Hundred Bones
of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press) -- and a full-length poetry collection -- What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC