in sleep I remembered

by Abigail Zimmer

something beautiful
like a body caught
coming home
I told my friend
suicide wasn't cowardly
simply a decision to be other
than what we are
which is alive
which is hard and glorious
and heart-changing
and oh do I understand
but oh do I love the trees here
turning, she changed
the subject away
from that other
friend, the now-dead friend
I was standing on the sidewalk
outside a bar
and then
I was walking home
reciting the names of those
whom I love
the alive ones and
the dead ones
and the trees

The Last Place I Look

I wanted to write on peaches. 
I wanted to suck a big peach word, 
to scrape my teeth against a peach pit. 
My mother said no! You are no
peach farmer! You have no peach skin! 

It’s true I was found in a bog. Underwater. 
Pulled away with death in my throat. 
My other mother drifted in and out
of her frame: Sing your cranberry song. String your cranberry vine. 
But I was stubborn. Or angsty. 
I climbed a fence and there were peach trees. 
I called hey-oh! peach-oh! and a peach sound echoed back. 
I filled my apron with peaches and my hat with even more. 
I ate the bugs that ate the peaches and then I ate the peaches. 
I grew full. I fell quiet. I looked quite good against peach leaves. 
Around me were so many peach pits. I laid down and slept. 
I saw my third and last mother. 
She had a peach name she would not tell me. 
I only knew her as my mother when she sang
how lost, how lost and peach juice stung her chin.


Ghost Ocean 17

Abigail Zimmer is the author of girls their tongues (Orange Monkey Publishing, 2016) and two chapbooks through Dancing Girl Press and Tree Light Books. She lives in Chicago where she is the poetry editor for The Lettered Streets Press. Her work has appeared in Nightblock, Jellyfish, The New Megaphone, and alice blue review, among others.