- Writers Retreat
- Writers in School
- OUR SUPPORTERS
Today, two fierce poems–about two fierce women–by Stephen Zerance.
ANNE SEXTON’S LAST DRINK
I came out of the Charles River,
a sunflower smiling at you on empty soil,
rising full light in your hand out of need
to travel through the galleys
of your memory, a donkey on a crash
course––I’m the driver. You can’t flee
yourself––that putty, iron maiden
of the mind that converts you back
to the witches. Any plans you had––
I made them instead. Put on
your mother’s best mink for a burning.
Turn circles alone, ignite into the front
seat of your sealed loading zone.
La de da,
How does it feel when I row
the world back? You’d say––
cordial. Quite the gentleman.
Sedate in your mug-shot, I’d worry
my eyebrows weren’t impeccably plucked,
my chin double.
I’d love to be unable to move my face.
Pinch my skin taut behind my ears.
Pump my lips. Pump them
to a permanent Lindsay pout.
I don’t fear needles, incisions, or drills.
File my teeth down to the nub. Give me
veneers. I’ve got a daily ritual:
eye serums, white-strips, line breakers,
ten push-ups each time I walk into
my bedroom, crunches over crunches
Suck my stomach to permanent morning.
Snap my nose straight.
Lindsay, I’d steal that necklace.
And I’d wear it out in public for everyone
to notice. Because it was mine. Because
if you believe so deeply that something
is yours, that it belongs to you, then it does.
STEPHEN ZERANCE is a recent MFA graduate of American University. He
has previously appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Prairie
Schooner, Bloom, Knockout, Chelsea Station, Gay and Lesbian Review
Worldwide, and MiPOesias. He resides in Baltimore, Maryland and is at
work on his first book.