Two Poems by Donald Zirilli

Dying in the Twenty-First Century
Samarkand is an adjective for leather.
It has no inhabitants, no taxes. Troops
do not amass on the border, nor does weather
assail its horizons. Still, you can find loops
for all your buttons, sweep your finger through
the fringe, or smell the life that once infused
the fabric with blood and melanin. You knew
or might have known the muscles that were used
to shape and propel this handbag, canteen, saddle.
The skin of horses or donkeys (which are you?)
are now a turqoise-green shagreen. The cattle
who fed your stiff black boots are marching, too,
accosting a crucial city lost among
the nettles of a networked eye and tongue. 
A Spell Against Memory
Look in the glass. Drink the new wine. Flee from the past.
Circle slowly into future’s manic folly,
spiraling angrily heavenward, remaining
determinedly asymptotic, tangentially
ecstatic, viciously burrowing. Relinquish
knowledge. Render even sunrise shocking. Censor
her warmth from night, her words from sound, her joy from light. 

Donald Zirilli was a finalist for the James Tate Prize and a nominee for the Forward Prize. He was editor of Now Culture and is a member of the Red Wheelbarrow Gang. His poetry was published in The 2River View, Anti- poetry magazine, ART TIMES, Nerve Lantern, River Styx,and other periodicals and anthologies. He and his wife live in an idyllic corner of New Jersey with two dogs and a cat. His chapbook, Heaven’s Not For You, was published in September, 2018, by Kelsay Books.

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