Jaime Zuckerman | Poetry

Analogies for a Marriage

1.
redness is to restlessness as _________ is to sightlessness.
…….After an argument about having a child,
…….we close eyes, face each other, looking and not looking,
…….two inches apart. Even at this distance—I know you
…….read the backs of your eyelids for answers.

2.
sleeping is to spinning as _________ is to _________.
…….A lean, a tilt, a turn, we keep the moon on the starboard side—
…….sail in circles, you and I and the earth, leave a milky way and a wake—
…….we return to this point again and again, rearrange the details,
…….so that each time I taste tears, it is the first time.

3.
murmuration is to belief as thunderheads are to _________.
…….The starlings burst from the bare tree like ashes
…….in updraft. This sight reminds me of my place—
…….subject to the elements and bouts of awe or horror—
…….where all I can do is look up, seek shelter.

4.
calculations are to dog star as _________ is to burn.
…….I see you by the light of a match. Meanwhile, scientists measure
…….stars’ brightness in luminosity, their deaths in millions of years.
…….We can’t fathom that kind of enormity—regardless, we break
…….out the calipers and scopes, begin to count from one.

5.
disappearance is to distance as _________ is to wind maps.
…….I could crumple into you like a piece of paper folded
…….into invisible hands or magnolias in late snow. White against pale—
…….I press my thumb to your appendix scar, reassure its softness,
…….say, This is how to love each other. Repeat after me.

6.
prayer is to dark clouds as _________ is to what remains.
…….The orgasm is the scorched field. No, it is the black tree
…….left standing. When we fucked,
…….I prayed to the thunder god, drank ink,
…….became a hungry vulture circling.

7.
baby birds are to peeled plums as wanting is to _________.
…….Bare-veined, revealed to the world, so much
…….straining to witness. The softness of these things is sweet,
…….in need of gentleness. Hold it in your mouth—
…….careful now—tongue how full of life it is, just filled with it.

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Jaime Zuckerman teaches and writes in Boston. She is the author of two chapbooks: Letters to Melville (Ghost Proposal, 2018) and Alone in this Together (Dancing Girl Press, 2016). Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Forklift, NightBlock, Souvenir Lit, Foundry, and several other journals. She is the Editor-in-Chief/poetry editor for Redivider, art director for Sixth Finch, and a senior reader for Ploughshares.
2018-10-22T15:42:40+00:00