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Zoe Dzunko

Turbo Plasticity



Out in the world

it is the perpetual attempt

to transcend my physiology.


Get to finding ways of making

the body smaller, crossing a leg

over the other thinking


origami; make the adjacent

seat an island. All day, people

turn their hands from fists


to vices; to white from pink,

clutching onto handrails,

to telephones, to other hands


craving proximity. But under-

sleeping, over-sleeping,

it is the same sensation each time.


Sigh, to only be a breath moving

through, welcome as a cool change.

To appreciate your velocity


until it trickles, thick and

knowable. I can make such horrific

angles: a leg so foreign, a wrist


bent backward, ungainly, until

they are no longer mine. So much

for the woman stuck inside


this joke, pushing her breasts

together and practicing beauty.

Just waiting for every nail to break.



Arrows from Dreamland



Could anybody really say

that they are hesitant to walk


for a fear of treading upon

the butterflies below. I long


for my youth at the scent of pine

needles, gathering at tree roots


like snow refusing to melt. There,

a hydrangea blossoms and so


I could make the word happy and

mean it; just as if I desired


the sensation of sadness, might

count all of the holes to dig and


flowers to cut. To lay concrete

over the grass, spare it from the


sun, finish it regardless, but

own its death, like the dog kindly


silenced. Well, while sleeping surely

I’d prefer the snore, in all of


its life affirming wonder; kicks

that jolt me awake and keep me


there until morning, your body

hot, filling the hollow. Just say,


when the beauty dies it must be

replaced by something, maybe the


rivers, their ultramarine tongues

suckling at stones like icy poles;


maybe the sun, impossible

to photograph as our breath.




In the Galapagos



A dandelion can become a tree.


This is how you viewed the world at seven,

rubbing yellow flowers into your skin;


before you saw a man’s stretching across

muscles, the bracket of a rib cage; now


a seagull flies across the black body

of a skyscraper, windows lighting up


as everybody leaves. Who hasn’t cut

open a pomegranate and wondered


who played such an elaborate joke on

them? At seven: pancake shake miracles


and the promise that still growing allowed;

mall excellence, escalators crossing


overhead, just like layers of a braid;

or the concrete flowers that streetlights


grow into at nightfall. Nobody promised

that every kiss would feel like a first kiss,


that was something I dreamed up alone;

just like in the Galapagos, scales grow


black to absorb the sun, we could write more

poems about evolving toward such


necessities: about not having sex

in every hotel room we booked, about


the virtue of sleep. The long, hot shower

you wish to keep unsullied; at night, us


pressing against each other like petals,

then wilting; those inclinations we dug


dirt on top of: to not be the seagull,

forever hungry, with our desire


to be the dandelion instead, there

perpetuating itself, forever.

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