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Three Poems

By Zoe Webb Sagarin

Night sky, Waimamaku, circa 1957, Waimamaku, by Eric Lee-Johnson. © Te Papa. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Te Papa (O.009129/01)
© Night sky, Waimamaku, circa 1957, Waimamaku, by Eric Lee-Johnson. © Te Papa. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Te Papa (O.009129/01)

Goodnight

 

each star is an unspoken apology

ticket to a modern Shakespeare remake at the Civic that I couldn’t afford

 

the moon is a love song in a foreign language

we played tug-of-war with her faces, never singing the same melody

 

never gave you a Saturn ring

afraid. to retire our spaceship for coffee stains

 

the milky way, our gospel but

courage was the sun in our night sky

 

I clung to shooting stars with desperate hands.

you clung to my ankle.

 

you eclipsed me

black hole swallowed me

 

the night sky was a flower bed above a coffin

I gave you all the star bouquets

 

by midnight, the only thing left of me was a body.

 

Hairless

Response to ‘Cheek’ by Tusiata Avia

 

wind bites

yanking my long hair

 

along in the current

sand swallows my naked arms

 

there he is

young man’s hot hands

 

hamstring on my hairless thigh

single scream stolen by sky

 

like a mime.

me, on tiptoes

 

pressing a prison box

his thick fingers, cold ring clasping

 

my hands, like a first date

dark cinema in sixth grade

 

leaving my palms clammy

like, the first time ‘i love you’

 

Sightseeing

 

Cable car rooftop perspective:

 

long white hair dips

into soy chai latte

green umbrella outside Starbucks

people don’t like lids on their to-go cups here

guess they like spiced hair

 

Bob Dylan buildings

stumble over chewed gum

and homeless addicts

stabbing veins with yesterday’s smiles

jack-o’-lantern faces to the sky

 

on Lombard Street

teen girl’s Birkenstocks

trample busker’s coin fedora

quarters and receipts sparkle sidewalk

bitch doesn’t leave a dime

 

Apple airpod yellowed by earwax

fallen from an ear on Union corner

how Vincent van Gogh

 

woman leashes kitten

drags him down the sidewalk

coat sandpapered off his hind

leaves Hansel-Gretel trail of fur behind

 

100% natural sweetener truck

tips over, spills this plastic sugar on the crosswalk

blends into the white lines

pedestrians bring their umbrellas

believing in beach sand

 

water helps rush turds towards the sewer

hosed by man in blue uniform

here we got a problem

of people shitting in the streets

 

someone fakes bible verses into a megaphone

her partner identifying victims

forcing business cards into unprotected pockets

false good intentions

 

man hangs portuguese fish sign in door frame

smooching split lips at that harsh fish

like a lonely man

 

turning onto Jackson street

clotheslined by the power lines

I fell off that car

and put a crack in the spine

of my guitar

About Zoe Webb Sagarin

Zoe moved to New Zealand from New Mexico six years ago. She studies English and Psychology. She is a committee member of the Veda Club and the Rock and Alpine Club.