This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

March-April 2017

Two poems by Tara-Michelle Ziniuk

From her third book, Whatever, Iceberg

Tara-Michelle Ziniuk

Am I Overreacting, or Are You Over Me Reacting?

I make myself a moon calendar, the lunar cycle no more or
less important to me than checking David Levithan’s Lover’s
Dictionary Twitter feed to use as a horoscope.
I write myself a moon calendar and it goes: bullshit moon,
stupid stupid ugh moon, kill me now moon; go outside and look
at the star things, nerd out on the Internet bc planets, twinkly
star important moon*.
I send Mark a link to a thing about astronomy that I don’t
understand myself and it changes his life, so that’s good.
I load the stream myself and am sure I hear aliens.

There were trips to space and there were not trips to space;
there was the solar system, but then we failed it.
We kept ending and ending; the blankets got heavier and the air
got colder and you wanted me to confess
that I’d tricked you all along,
but had I?

I confessed that you couldn’t scare me away, couldn’t break
me away, that you and your fucking up and fucking up again
couldn’t do that.
You were scared, you said.
I left for space
and you for your sister’s,
We all have the places we go.

We found each other on my porch eventually
the last tenant’s peach patterned sofa cushions on knotted
frames, letting us imagine we were only visiting this.
My holey heart couldn’t handle it anymore, and couldn’t not
handle it.
Sun-bleached brown wicker snapping between our fingers, our
fingers intertwined like wicker about to snap.

What if Love Existed but You Didn’t Have Your Notification Settings Turned On?

If a relationship happened, but one party fell off the face of
the earth, did it make a sound? Was it a gasp or a scream?
Was it allowed to cry or told it was being selfish? Did it use

If a person fell off of an earth but another person loved them,
did they really leave? If they didn’t leave, did they ever exist? Is

If there was love, and it was Sunday, was there baseball? Was
there crying in baseball? Did anyone show up on time? Did they
skate in the winter? Did they fuck in the community garden?
Did they think about it? Was it too cold? If they did not fuck in
the community garden, did it make a sound? Was it a gasp or a
scream? Is there an option D? Did you love back? Was love?

If a relationship happened, but one party fell off the face of the
Was the earth love? Was falling? Was soil? Was traffic? Was a
face? Was your face love? It was to me.

Tara-Michelle Ziniuk's third book of poetry, Whatever, Iceberg will be published with Mansfield Press in April 2017. Her work has appeared in make/shift, Joyland, Prism, Matrix, The Best Canadian Poetry 2016, and other publications. Born in Montreal, she currently lives in Toronto with her daughter.

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