Tag Archives: Lucia Zimmitti


by Lucia Zimmitti

You flip your eyelids
inside-out until they become
thinly-veined bowls that gather
rain. When they overflow
you proffer your tongue, stiff
with misuse but, to the fat
trembling drops, beloved still.

The one whose musk
you still wear on your face
              in your nostrils
              strung along your gums
kicks you awake. We’re here.
Who is we? Where is here?
Your crammed-silent mouth
voices no questions. He needs
one more or he’ll expose you
to the captain. You remember

the promise of just once sworn
on another side of the world,
how it lost flesh with the anchor’s
hoist and finally suffocated
under the avalanche of another
                            and another
                            and another
or I’ll leak you to the whole
fucking crew.
Grunting, he spills
loneliness onto the words
lying dead on your tongue.

Shine, you urge yourself.
Unfold. Claim this shining shard of pain. But
you can’t know what awaits you
out there. Whether
              the sun will ash
              or what you fled has found you
              or a host of fresh beasts gangplank-crouch,
                            suffused with fear instead of loneliness.

Await the engines’
new thrust. Await the pitch
of your soul, the magnificent eruption
of missed opportunity, the bitten quick
of lost chance. Curl small and
mutter the unbeliever’s
prayer that no one
wakens the fucking lights
to see you that way—
a cramped seedling
without the mercy
of dirt.



by Lucia Zimmitti

Like a poor man’s blanket,
you decide to heave off
the shame of self-smuggling
and unfold. Jewels
of exquisite pain
alight along your spine, ladder
your blood-starved extremities.

And still you stretch,
pneuma pulsing.

You climb deckward,
each step impossible, inevitable.
Here I am, you cry, flinging open
the bisected cloak of your skin
trench-coat sudden. I am here.
The ship lists under your sodden
soles. Your breath commands
the spiky, rough-headed waves.
Salt spray sutures the split self,
sealing the rift with the precision
of foam. All
stand rapt before you.

You shudder with power.

When the fever breaks,
when disappointment folds you
back into the pitching dark
and holds your head down
like those you had to swallow
to earn this secret spot,
you mourn delirium.


by Lucia Zimmitti

You once cupped it
gingerly, eagerly, breathlessly–
like a trembling breast,
a wakened bloom, a heart
lifted from a still
chest and lowered into one
rising and falling.

And now
you cannot even fathom
a dry, steady, light-filled place
where words hold sway
and trade themselves like
bright coins, this cruel
concept swabbed bare
in the directionlessdark the
mutedamp the oppressiveheave

But worse:
You have forgotten
what you fled.


by Lucia Zimmitti

They gnaw canvas, rope, cardboard,
roll—like measured words—
kernels of nearly-food
in change purse mouths. They eat
the sick you heave, scour
the halo of sour wood
at your head. Blind teeth—
yours? theirs? ours?—seethe
and warp and snatch
each bile-wet splinter.

Curl smaller—smaller
—as the arrogance of want
abrades your skin, whisker-
tremble tracing the sick
back to its maker. You
sense them weighing options:
Await death, or
commence feeding? They

leave behind hard turds
that at least prove
they were there. But now the hasp
gouging your flank
consummates flesh. First, a whisper-
weep of pink. Next, a rush
of red like unburied life. Finally—
a ferruginous crust, proud
of how it stays.

But they return—
as they must—and lick
the metal clean, divesting you
of your own ichorous leavings.