• Zackary Lavoie

Four Poems


Some sort of goddess of some sort

of season between summer and autumn.

Some bright heat through a dancing curtain

onto our bed. An especially warm day in October.

Not a muse—greater. A steady flow

of song echoing from the wood-floored corridor. A perk,

a peak, a break from uncontrollable alternating

of me and un-me and here and

un-here. From what river were you born? Was it in the sky? Did it

reflect the stars? Almighty morning, I am humbled

by this woman. The earth has tried

to swallow her, but she is too full of lavender.

She measures time in handfuls.


i was never much of a man’s man anyway

look at this body

look how brittle it is

i promise it is just as fragile as you think

no one told me i needed to so solid to be a man

no one told me i needed to be solid at all

this is not tenderness, it is softer

i am bathwater becoming steam

i am steam being inhaled

i like to linger where gentleness lives

deep in the bottom of the lungs

where cries are swelling and grief unendingly harbors

this is no place for a man, i have heard

i have heard a clenched jaw combats drowning

a gentle death must be met with violence

this is its rejection, a refusal of a plague brought on by fathers

a plague brought on by father’s fathers

i have not been cast

i was not hammered by a hand

i will not be iron

i am not born of fire

boiler house

there is a dying place

where i cannot name myself

so i sit in the place

& let it call me what it will

splintered child druid child

i hear it

it’s loud toiling

i hear it tell me splintered child druid child

the wheat worries not when it will be reaped

& turned to bread

in this place trees lose their shape tree to pulp to paper to paper to

booze & needles & back to tree

in this place trees lose their shape against smokestacks & smokestacks

heave fluffy heaven-lies &

pages dappled with sickness & spite

push back splintered child druid child

the place speaks again

bury this boiler house

i listen i have decided i will not stay

i will run run along the stream & run until

the trickles engorge to river & river pushes the beast forward

at the bottom of the river

is an apothecary box

with its legs sawed off

& its drawers filled with guilt

how broken

late august comes & the foothills split open

& heavy green seeps out & courses down

into the valley

into the back of my head

i do not want to kill this place

i do not want to kill this place

i do not want to die here

but we all do we all do

I, stop

I wanted to invite you

to sit in the basement and paint even though I don’t know how to paint I know you can and I wanted to bask in you.

I wanted to paint a frozen marsh full of taupe reeds yearning for flood and receiving only snow I wanted to tell you a marsh switches from terrestrial to aquatic depending on the weather except in the winter it is neither I wanted to tell you that at the bottom, underneath the ice, was a body I wanted to tell you the body was me I wanted to tell you to dig me up I wanted to, I did.

I wanted to use oil paints I wanted to mix the colors on the canvas can we mix the colors on the canvas the paint is still wet can we mix the colors on the canvas? I wanted to watch the way your brush touched the color I wanted to tell you how you’ve become the brush I wanted to tell you how you are an impressionist painting I wanted to tell you the way the light hits your hair thawed something deep inside me I wanted to, I did.

I wanted to use so many colors I wanted you to tell me what colors I was using you know I’m colorblind I wanted to paint your face and tell you I couldn’t see you anymore I wanted to paint my face and disappear and listen to you hum I wanted to hum a harmony I wanted to look to you to see the look that I wanted I want it, I do.

Zackary Lavoie is a writer from Maine. He is the author of the chapbook UPHEAVALS (Pond Bench Press) and is the winner of the LVFSC Poetry Competition. His work can be found both online and in print. zackarylavoie.com

New Mexico State University

English Department

P.O. Box 30001, MSC 3E

Las Cruces, NM 88001



Puerto del Sol

Weirding it up since 1960.

Puerto del Sol is funded by New Mexico State University and the Mercedes Delos Jacobs Fund, and designed and operated by the students of the MFA in Creative Writing program.

Puerto del Sol is a proud member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.