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Friday, February 10, 2017

Catherine Zickgraf Screams Every Time She Gets Ready For Church

Pills Don’t Hurtle Drawers/Roll Away

You are broomlike, stablest on your head, 
all toe hair and sawed nails, sold broken, 
an unarithmic puzzle, reasonless, lacking 
panic at your betrayal, a porcelain stomach 
spinning waves, an addict’s raw lips, ooze-
dripping veins like peeled plantains, antiqued 
in a sealed store front—oh, thinned liar, 
skinned open.

You are yourself alone, the lover you fondle, 
not cheek against untweeding cushions in 
some traphouse, squeezed instead between 
your own soul and my own sofa where you’ve
crashed, a houseguest where you found my
medicine you stole.  



Hotel

I don’t mind your ex-wife stretched out in your penthouse
or your girlfriend’s speakers in the suite down the hall—
as long as I can settle my cheek in your chest 
on a tiny cot closeted under your stairs.  



Hiding under the Bathroom Sink

I slid in through the under-sink door.  
There, behind the Lysol, were the crackers 
I hid the week before since I knew when they 
pounded the floor chasing their insolent child, 
I’d want to be safely gone. 

They searched the place out, 
looking under the beds—
then realized I could be headed to the creek.  
They swept the place out, 
scanning all the corners, 
like a matriarch scrubbing out her household’s sin—
then realized I could be past the creek 
and deep in the trails, out of reach.

But I was nine and hiding under a sink, 
blue smocked dress crushed in with the darkness, 
legs bent up, my head on my knees, 
and I really had to go to the bathroom.

In there in white tights and only one shoe—
a rubber-soled brown, strap buckling the foot.  
It frustrated my folks and slowed us down 
that the other one was simply gone.

So much screaming while getting ready for church.  
Scary words while getting ready for church.  
They looked for me till I chose to emerge 
and then didn't even try to make it to church 
that Sunday I’d prepared for the week before. 

Catherine Zickgraf has performed her poetry in Madrid, San Juan, and three dozen other cities, but now her main jobs are to hang out with her family and write poetry. Her work has appeared in Journal of the American Medical Association, Pank, Victorian Violet Press, and The Grief Diaries. Her new chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press and is available on Amazon.com. 

Read more and watch more of her poetry at http://caththegreat.blogspot.com

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