Poem Dreamt on a Plane, or, Fragility

By Javier ZamoraJune 19, 2019

Poem Dreamt on a Plane, or, Fragility

This piece appears in the Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal: The Occult, No. 22 

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Poem Dreamt on a Plane, or, Fragility

There was a mouse. I didn’t have eyes.
I was sitting in an aisle seat, got up, blocked the passageway,
told passengers: ¡there’s a mouse in this plane!
Not even the mouse cared —
she lived in this plane.
She approached, her whiskers sensing thunderstorms.
I sat there, waiting. Then, I woke.
Got my computer out, began writing
there was a mouse, changed the font from Times
to Garamond. Sensing —

years after she walked into the Washington Square Park
fountain with all her clothes on in late October,
drunk from red wine she’d downed at the dinner
I told her I’d stopped loving her,
perhaps never loved her, she cried
so much her eyes puffed up like she didn’t have eyes,
& I didn’t do, or say, anything —

there’s a chance she’ll read this.
I’m trying to return my fragility
but I don’t have a receipt. I was oblivious
to apologizing — I’d misunderstood.
You are not a cashier. I should never
have said “you’re crazy,” “jealous,” “stupid,”
“calm down,” drank so much. Somehow
I end up pointing at my father, uncles,
grandfathers, but it’s me who opened my mouth.
I’m sorry. 


Javier Zamora's first collection of poems is called Unaccompanied.

LARB Contributor

Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador and migrated to the US when he was nine. He is a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University. Zamora's poetry and prose appear in Granta, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, The New York Times, and elsewhere. Unaccompanied, Copper Canyon Press, is his first collection. 


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