Two Poems By Thomas Zimmerman

It’s like a book, a piece of music: glance
from someone you believe is beautiful.
In fifty-mile-per-hour wind, or under
skies as white as Grandpa’s thighs, the fire-core
of this vision burns. A Beethoven late
quartet, those fine brown eyes: the soul expands
as if put on a ventilator. Even
if you’re diving into darkness (luxury
it is compared to falling), reading Lowell
or Plath, let’s say, the alchemy of pure
delight transmutes the words and rhythms into
his or her or their remembered face,
now lovelier, of course, full moon seen underwater
as you’re rising breathless from the depths.

Nocturne (II)
You’re in the kitchen, leaning on the counter,   
beer in front of you, dog at your feet,  
and trouble in your mind. Breasts pressed against
the sliding door, the darkness is a succubus,
inverted muse that has you disbelieving
that a deck is there, then shaggy spruces,
neighbor’s house, the woods, the high school football
field, the university, downtown,
then M-14 and US-23,
the interstate, the road to anywhere,
perception’s shadows decomposing so
damned fast you doubt the Earth, its curvature.
You listen to a record by an artist
that you love who’s died, your heart a kite
in lightning that’s been lurking in the wiry
wind. Your father gave you something in
a dream last night: you can’t remember what.
No time for revelations now. Just ask
of what you’ve lost: Why did you leave? Where have
you gone? And are you ever coming back?

Thomas Zimmerman teaches English, directs the Writing Center, and edits  The Big Windows Review at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Poems of his have appeared recently in Black Coffee ReviewEphemeral Elegies, and Trestle Ties.  Tom’s website:

One comment

  1. Wow! Wonderful images that stack perfectly one on top of the next. For example, in “Nocturne (II)” you write “the darkness is a succubus, / inverted muse that has you disbelieving / that a deck is there.” And in “Glance” you write “or under / skies as white as Grandpa’s thighs” and “the soul expands / as if put on a ventilator.” Awesome poems!


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