“A Poem About Not Running” by Zach Fishel

The women I love the most

despise poetry like an indifferent bum

waiting for traffic to clear.

The first Christmas we spent together

was the only time I’ve played fetch

with an aging Labrador,

hot saliva on tennis balls

and the rage of our fingers

not locked but pocketed.

When I failed out of college

my professor told me one day

I’d be something

and now I’m balding

as I practice my dance lessons

just to get your laugh

drunk in a honkytonk.

If we were windows

the sky would have handprints.

Your breath must be a flower shop

where only the brave can grow.

I’ve only ever beat you

at horseshoes and drinking.

The way you would lay down

in the aisles of bookstores

just to read

made me want to start a family,

but boiling sassafras roots for tea

was the best I could do.

One day the way I’ve loved you

will dismantle like every handwritten note

your mother left about making coffee.






Zach Fishel is the author of Wind Sock Etiquette, set for release in April 2014. His poetry has appeared internationally and has earned two Pushcart nominations.