Poems from Catherine Zickgraf




him here

where islands convect

in open sea, breath shifts

far off fault lines. Here

they are, sheets surround

them like mountains

they twist from the


An afternoon erodes, time-sift

dampens it. They are here,

their map will sprout

trees she ascends

and then accepts

that he may just up-

anchor and leave.

Maggie Sees

His voice comes rounding the corners of

her eye most midnights, hissing at her to

inspect the cellar oil tank from which he

exhales h’s up to the baseboard radiators.

Not dreaming, she hears water bugs spot

her walls, their antennae undulating from

bone paint, plaster sprouting its whispers.

While her hall carpet lies saturated where

his shadows still bleed at times, she gives

up climbing curtain vines trying to escape.

Thus she sweeps his silhouette into a trash

bag, stomps it, stuffs it with the dust mites

and pipe rust behind her washing machine.


Her follicles have slowed releasing

auburn and gold into their pale straws.

Warmth dissipates from her hair.

Sungrazing comets flame

their brightest before death—

all glow with no dying flicker.

Gusts wail the valley out back.

Claws rip tangles, scalp mind.

In her sleep a barn owl shrieks.

Wet strands circle the drain.

Ashen threads drip fingers,

stick to walls, wrap toes.

Still she brushes her hair on the porch,

sheds and renews for spring’s nesting lark

who will cushion her hatch by instinct.

About Catherine Zickgraf

Catherine Zickgraf’s main jobs are to hang out with her family and write poetry. Her work has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pank, Victorian Violet Press and The Grief Diaries. Her recent chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press.

Read and watch her at caththegreat.blogspot.com


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