• notdeermag

For Posterity, Russell Zintel

CW: death


Our bones

We wish they were better at the connections

What gets in the way of their chipping

Not seeing pain when looking upon others

Taking being the mold for granted

The bad things nailed to the back of the shed

Ten years ago

Are going off now

What grease we used to fake it

Runs down like melted epoxy

Once might’ve been replaced with real connective

Tissue, if we’d only tried a little harder, kept our chair legs

Mirror-clean, no mud-slicked grinding

Of end against bone-end

If atonement bloomed

Healing, rather than fire

Orchid would’ve flooded

Mouths as soft and safe as petals

No grinding into sunrises

On old wagon wheels

Our mornings we wasted

By not tending gone generations

& what we admit was wasted for us

In hillsides unrecognized as hospital

Beds, & from beneath white coats

On the last days of what we were

Besides our own doctors

The skeletons of our hearts

Under April sun, holding hands

Without irony, & thinking of all but praying

For the little pond

Fishes that died

In our chests


Russell Zintel lives north along the Hudson River with his partner KT and their cat. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in decomP Magazine, Re-Side Zine, Tiger Moth Review, and others.

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