Anna Ziering: Two Poems

Driving I-25 Through Casper, Wyoming

 

Is like rolling up the dropped road like a TP roll

from the floor in the pit-stop bathroom; eating it

 

like Pacman at the old stale-man arcade

that brewed our kiddie cologne: fuck-ups, burn-outs, bad kids

 

with lipstick-stained butts (we prized those smokes: their germs, the grossness,

the closeness to sex). We were hungry

 

to move like men – to drop in, drift on, drop a lowball glass

on the bar, walk out into the hot door-light

 

that cut the smog and made everyone squint.

We wanted the trucks outside,

 

their roll-down windows and trailers that dragged left,

those lives that weren’t our dads’. Those men,

 

if they had kids, hadn’t seen them in days,

kids who had brothers they’d never know about – mysteries,

 

not like ours, the babies who buzzed around

behind us or the faggy ones who got straight A’s. I haven’t seen Jason in six days

 

or talked to his momma in four, since Wednesday 10 PM when I got to HoJo’s

and called her to jack off. She talked about groceries. When she heard me,

 

she said Jesus, Stan and hung up in disgust. Not the first time. I finished anyway

and splayed out on the bleached sheets. I lay and watched the dark,

 

the freeway’s white lines rolling under my eyelids

like cigarette wisps, urgent and burning.

 

Raveling

After Sappho

 

Friends, cover me with one of our delicate cloths.

I cannot work the loom today.

With smelted eyes, my darling one summons me,

 

burning, drawing me down:

to longing, desire that pours over

his face when he hurts me,

 

honey smoothed on the bruises, after.

Why is it day? Why are we parted?

Why am I here at the loom, dripping sweat on the threads?

 

Come, evening: the sun offers nothing.

Bring us back to each other, our sticky-wet hungers;

bring him back to me.

 

I’ll go home with you, darkness,

leave the silk draped on the frame like rain,

and then, my dear one, I will clothe you

 

in garments of my hair,

in my hot skin, I will drench you

in honey, we will wash the raw day clean, when you return,

 

you must, return to me,

stop the shuttles’ taunting

of warp and weft, their hungry

ripping—

 


Anna Ziering is an MA/PhD student in English at the University of Connecticut. She received her MFA in Poetry from BU in 2013.

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