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  • Amie Zimmerman

Two Poems

weight of the dimmed sun

the tongue of someone

who hasn’t loved before

the paddle of it

the glass of it in your mouth

the sky diving simulator of it

all full of nylon jumpsuit smiling

bodies giving you

the thumbs up

the problem of measuring

the proportion of bite

in a mouth numb

after the filling

the unexpected

reconstruction of it later

I reassure my dentist it’s fine

although I can’t feel anything

but weight of the dimmed sun

red, smoked humidity

& the trap of living

in a rain forest

with no rain

& I keep eating consecutively

more shriveled mushrooms

in my newly vegetarian diet

it was too much

the chihuahua in the street

its owner wailing, everyone

pouring their eyes & tongues

into the street after it

tasting the sorrow

licking it from the pavement

its salty presence

enough to remind us

of violent men on the waterfront

today, the ones in homemade

uniforms & the ones

in factory made uniforms & us

the beaten

in the uniform

of clotted-tongued thirst

bearing witness to a woman’s

life of tragedy

unspooling in

loss of stolen futon mattress

frame or sunrise

or faithful

dark brown companion

growing smaller in the street

under the tire

I’ve kissed in falsehood before

taken those I do

not love to rose gardens

I am an expert

it tastes like gas on the tongue

to have teeth rebuilt

I’m open now

push my tongue to the side

& come in


The goal of psychoanalysis is to help us remove ribs from pigs

& other four legged beasts keeping in mind the line in the show

with the character who once gave an equation of suffering greater

than death equals the tenderest meat. The goal of psychoanalysis

is to help us understand human behavior as a sacrament

of the process of becoming human is unfortunately riddled

with the holes of becoming human of the unknown stuttering

brother of Moses & the angels hear my cry. The goal of psycho-

analysis is to snip the frenulum of blue of a nightstick the sky blue

of a bleeding mouth the blue of the underside of a thrown brick

the blue of wet pavement all of the blue present when the test

comes back positive & now your cells have a blue of their own

a squashed blue the sort of blue that looks you steadily

in the eye as it unbuckles its belt. The goal of psychoanalysis

is the same as the word goal if the word goal is an only way

to correct action.

Amie Zimmerman lives in Portland, Oregon. Her work has been included, or is forthcoming, in Sixth Finch, DIAGRAM, Salt Hill, Heavy Feather Review, New South, and Bone Bouquet, among others. She has two chapbooks, Oyster (REALITY BEACH) and Compliance (Essay Press), and is events coordinator for YesYes Books. She can be found at

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