White song wrapped in a failing mind. Old man loves a little garden, loves a little mouse, plants a row of elderflowers, doffs a little crown. The man the mouse the earth. The hungry earth. Content to go but can’t leave—love—a streak of ore in a quiet life. I do not know how to talk or where to look or why my hands swollen & meatpacking train away from wreckage. Garden, leave off your reaching shoots. The weather makes my body smaller.
A woman in a red evening dress. A red woman in a sheer dress. A woman in a dress under the sun. The trees are red. Strappy heels sink into red earth. Ha Ha Ha Ha. A banquet table spread with wine and nine men passed out. There is Ha Ha no crying here, she says. Here Ha is the crying collection. She toasts the trees. She toasts me. I am not crying. Ha Ha. The grass is burning. The grass is covered by her dress. Her red dress. Redress. Misdirect. Regretless. Sundress. No, there is no sun. Here comes the night.
The baker lives in a house with no doors. There's always the window, he says, but no one has ever seen him leave. No one has ever gone inside. During day, coriander and orange, a line of coin-holders, and walnuts halved. At night the baker trusts to song, makes room for arriving. When I visit, the words are not yet rising. He slides a loaf across the sill. Tap the bottom, he says, and a kestrel bursts through the crust, becomes a recollection between us. Did you hear it? Feathers and landing.
Two girls toss a bag of bones bigger than their heads. Neither of them can catch. With one hand, they grasp a wing of the blessed host. Backwards they throw, then run to find the bones among the weeds. The host billows above them. When asked if they know the way, they click their tongues as if a flock of heart-sad pigeons / apologize for the wilderness.
Abigail Zimmer lives in Chicago where she teaches first year writing and is an editor for Columbia Poetry Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Spork, ILK, The New Megaphone, and Black Tongue Review, among others.