Spring 2019




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)



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.



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’




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.