Previous  Back to Issue Next 

Zoe Dzunko

They shave back / the animal within themselves

Creation Myth (IV)

Voice my name with soft vowels
and I will sound to you

like something I was born to do.
Regarding etymology,

which are our coincidences
and which are our tidy evolutions?

I resent my language
for its limits, I possess fewer than

a palm's weight of options. Girl
slid easily over me, for a while.

The patriarchs I have known
have been very gentle,

they speak in words unaided
by flesh. They shuffle around

on quiet feet, trailing
sandalwood, cyprus, a hit

of vetiver. They shave back
the animal within themselves,

dutifully, leave it to decorate
the basin with spotted foam.

They promised me everything.
They reminded me darling

do not wait up
, through
the noise of bachelor parties

a girl, much younger than I, severs
her body and unhooks her bra.

Zoe Dzunko is the author of Selfless (TAR, 2016) and three other chapbooks. In 2014 she founded Powder Keg Magazine, an online poetry quarterly, with Sarah Jean Grimm, and alongside Annabel Brady-Brown, she is editor of The Lifted Brow. Her work has appeared in Sixth Finch, Guernica, Prelude, Tin House (The Open Bar), The Fanzine, H_NGM_N, et al. She lives in Melbourne, Australia and is online at zoedzunko.com.