about the author

Amie Zimmerman lives in Portland, Oregon. Her work has been published, or is forthcoming, in Sixth Finch, DIAGRAM, Puerto del Sol, and BathHouse Journal, among others. She has two chapbooks, Oyster (REALITY BEACH) and Compliance (Essay Press), and is events coordinator for YesYes Books.

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Two Poems  

Amie Zimmerman

midnight vigil for the slick

it has its own wandering path, my worry
for you and the things that may happen

when I say it, do you hear the clownish
danger I fear perches on your shoulder

following decisions you make, waiting to
bloom the clumsy touch of the body

against anything else, the mind assuming
one thing, stepping off the train platform

into oblivion and receiving, for all its pain
a few stitches and a six week cast

but to use the language of trust, we substitute
a sure thing for risk, this is not new

I ask you to find what you are not willing
to lose, and in so doing, flash my hand

can I poison the pest without poisoning
the next rung predator? my foot in the door

my brush craving the work of 100 strokes
before bed, if not in the hair, then on

the ass? find your worst self
did I mention doctors? them too

I’d like to say the choice of ochre in design
was purposeful, the walls, the bedspread

the burning drapes in the burning home
I’d say, also, that I’m winning my war

against the slugs, but I can’t kill them
can’t even leave out saucers of beer
          for them to kill themselves

holy yolk

god of jacob   the wind in triangle
          medallion earrings

sounds like stripping           your birthright
when you had two fingers up the Russian
                    in the backseat of your truck

a golden hairy thing

the sound of the spirit
is this:           leaving, naked
          a microcosm, holy yolk

          under the white half moons
          of your untrimmed fingernails

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