Isabel Zacharias

from flower room

the memory of a tree
is the tree.

                                                                             -   Donald Revell

my thought of this world as a good good world is

                                                                                               the thought of a world with you in it

                         asleep and sweating

                                                                                                                        all over the sheets

                                                as if nobody taught us

                                                                                                                        to hate ourselves.

                                                                                 the weather is not getting better

with time. it’s just getting back

                                                 to whichever beginning you choose : the futon of red

petals whorling but you said : purple and took a hand out

                                                             from your body bloody with your blood of all torn

                                                 animals ; actually

                         Buddy we have been here before

but no stars were out & had nothing to cover us so both got soaked as the dew
                     was out sooner,

                                                            no brother caught cold in the shower in the summer

                                   of two-thousand-and-twelve where everything,
                                   even our best jokes,
                                   dissolved. the one with my cuticle picked up bloody and the six

cans carried to my second apartment ; we turned your nineteenth year

                                                                                     smooth between our fingers tossing
                                                                                     silt over shoulder for better
                                                                                     bad luck.

                        I aim to not remember when whoever guards the seasons

                        wakes to switch them. her arrows are holstered ; wouldn’t know how to


here is the stale smell still blessing
            the car, small rooms we make smaller

                                                                                                              by laughing

            I loved you and was
            and around you the leaves were changing.

                                                                                  One fell ;

                                                              It was so red

& I have been wrong all along ; I let
           my eyes close. 

                      How perfect! How meaningless! mouths given

            faulty directions ,

                                              the now gone morning we kiss on the curb and you thank
                                              my head home ; thank you

           for forgetting, however you do —
           with me, of all creatures —
           in our two red room —

                                                                   I hear Bee trying
                                                             not to cry in front of me,
                                                                   all of her tender
                                          to the touch, there, frightened. I touch her head
                                                           to mine and wish and wish
                                                          & wish I did not understand.

                                               if you don’t like the song, I have misjudged
                                                             this all completely ; well
                                                                      I dream now.

                                                                   there, the buried
                                                           apple seed & getting better

                                                  at hiding what we are from our parents,
                                                                    then each other
                                                      then the best things you say are,

                                                 of course, the things you do not mean.

                                                                   Bee, something
                                                                    will go wrong

                                                                   or many things.

I am thinking of how nice it would be to be with you instead of being alone, like I have wanted so much lately and is so unlike me, to walk close to you because of how nice it is to complain to someone you love about how it is raining again. Even in this season. Is it every season now? But all you need is to be together. Everyone else just walks around miserable. hi, you have reached me and B

sleeping between spring and houses, strangling
each other to stay warm
even all the way into the summer
our old neighborhood curved
like hips with a streetlight hung
on each bone
the cut blossom of us loving
each other

                       drunk with our beliefs
                       or our agnosticism [N.R.]
                       Buddy, we were there

           one layer of softness above and below us,
           but these are all stories you’ve heard before. The stars
           were patched over with clouds and I felt so
           alone until the sun came back and I still can’t
           get out of my body. isn’t that always the problem? [M.S.]

                                                           hallucinated body makes a fist
                                                            finally, gets bad, stupid anger
                                                      even in dreams I am dumb at fighting
                                                                       but I fight now
                                                with all fears and forebodings, punching [S.P.]
                                                            every body back, finally, again
                                                         & again saying I am so sad I am
                                                         so sad I do not deserve sadness
                                                   even love even when there were stars

                                                                          I am afraid
                                                             I have tried everything else

                                                                       and it could be

                                                         there is nothing to thank God for

                                                            and I vacuum my apartment

                                but if love is just a word I use

                                                        to love you,

                                                                                     I love you

Isabel Zacharias is a writer, musician and radio broadcaster from Kansas. She is a graduate of the Independent Publishing Resource Center’s Certificate Program in Poetry and the University of Oregon’s Kidd Tutorial Creative Writing Program, where she received the Kidd Prize in Poetry. Her arts journalism bylines have appeared at NPR and StoryCorps as well as in Willamette Week, Oregon Quarterly, About Face Magazine and Eugene Weekly. This poem appears in her debut poetry chapbook, notes to next forever, which was self-published in June of 2018. She lives in Portland, OR with Mica and Russell and Egg (a fish) and Margot (a cat). You can order her book at