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