Would you like to help support strangeroad? Click below to donate.
Zachary C. Bush, 23, is a writer of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and
magazine features. He lives in Georgia with his two cats: Luna and Tic-Tac. His
work has appeared or is forthcoming in VOX Journal, Word Riot, Underground
Voices, Chronogram Magazine, edifice Wrecked, Cerebral Catalyst, Non Euclidean
Cafe, Mastodon Dentist, Right Hand Pointing, and Locust Magazine.
Carlos swims at dusk
while I dream of spreading muddy-sand across
the surface of the sun.
He had no time for dreams. Carlos
never feared the sea,
slipping between the waves.
I rub my eyes with sandy fingertips,
and he is gone.
The Winter Migration of Blue Crabs
E. never warned me.
E. never woke me
I never heard them.
Whit, why are they in my head?
I was asleep for a time, wasn’t I?
E., she made it possible, didn’t she?
left ajar after dinner, E. heard them,
the haunting tap dance
of a thousand crab-claws
waltzing across the kitchen floor.
My bed is warmer than the kitchen.
In the winter, crabs seek warmth.
I don’t blame them for this.
Blue crabs slipped through
the cracked bedroom door.
They scaled the sheets blanketing my head,
and popped my skull like a bottle cap.
The night they migrated to me
I dreamt of acupuncture,
a subconscious relief.
But crabs poke at me, and it hurts.
E. why didn’t you warn me?
E. why didn’t you wake me?
I never heard them.
you turn sixty-five this year, and the silver sliver of an “L” fades from your
Do you remember the night we first met? Erin hung off my shoulders, her warm
breasts against my shirtless back. “Surprise Zachary,” she giggled. You looked
up at me from atop the cedar-wood desk, like a black cat, yellow eyes, cautious.
You reeked of spoiled ink and must. “Type something great while I prepare your
birthday cake,” she said, and left the room. I named you, ROYA short for Royal,
and referred to you as my black-iron tank. And like a tank, I drove you through
the desert, each night, in search of images. It was only a matter of time
before I was lost.
Erin would ask me to stop typing and get back into bed, but once I started, my
fingertips pelted your keys like summer hail. The rata-tat-tat ascended to
something hypnotic, a spiritual symphony, like the church organ of my childhood.
When I paused, to load more paper or compose my thoughts, you would laugh. I
wondered if it was not at me. How many bright-eyed men have you seen abandon
their Great American Novels? How many veins have been opened over you in the
name of poet’s poverty? How many times have you locked your keys since she left?
I wish I could release the margins of guilt, just shift through time when to she
and I were happy, and backspace over her tears with asterisks. But I chose you,
and words stick.
Ink cannot be erased, leaving all my mistakes in front of me.
Our Home on 105-A W. Wayward Way
I see the red door where we welcomed evening,
where you ripped every poem I wrote you.
I see the shelves where you left love notes for me,
where you left your house key.
I see the white walls where we hung paintings,
where you pinned me by the throat.
I see the rug where we tore into duct-taped boxes,
where you stomped down on my bare foot.
I see the dinner table where we watched Beta’s bubbles,
where forks scraped against plates.
I see the frames where our pictures were,
where each picture has been taken.
I see the desk where the surprise typewriter sat,
where I lost myself in a world without you.
I see the shower where we prepared for the day,
where we washed wrong words away.
I see the backyard where we carved pumpkins,
where you cut your finger teaching me.
I see the porch where we hung spider-webs,
where we stood as Batman and Bumblebee.
I see the bed where I laughed at your requests,
where you asked me to hold your hand in prayer.
I see the washer where you emptied my pockets,
where you forgot your cherry-print underwear.
I see the purple shards of porcelain where you pitched a lamp,
where it just missed my head.
I see the couch where we imagined our future,
where I told you I wouldn’t be a part of it.
**Copyright 2007, Zachary Bush
Send us your comments on this article