Three Poems by Zachary Lundgren

Dusk on Nebraska
after Frank Stanford

Men with no money drive up to a
strip club.

They get out, tie their shoes
and check small phones
for any little fish-hook, might bring them back.

Then they go upstairs and kill themselves.

Winter is almost over; never-dying trees
warm up their throats
to brag once again of the foolishness
of men. Now, here we are.

The men walk outside and one breaks the windshield of a car
to prove there is no such thing as love

 

Everything Is Made of Water and Full of Gods
after Thales

What if our soul was made of water?
Imagine it falling from fat clouds, cutting down canyons
over years, and years. Imagine our soul bottled
and carried in a backpack for when you need it most.

Now, sit there and tell me what we are
made of—carbon and nitrogen—not the curve
of a broken wrist, sitting on a cement curb,
fathered by it. At that airport: palm trees distant
in their knowledge, their amusement. She dropped you
off and just drove away she drove away
because you were supposed to go
home.

What if our soul was made of little gods?
Imagine everything is a story
and you’re driving to the ocean with a friend
who is also god and you ask him what the moral is
he tells you don’t look inside the house for rain

 

Heartkiller

1
She takes a drink. She takes a drink
like someone takes
a stone out of a river.

That winter her brother died, broken by bourbon
and endocarditis – her parents called
from Cleveland. I watched her, cold.

She takes a drink because no one is looking
for God; digging holes,
necks to airplanes, no.

2
At the apartment, she plays a song on her stereo
heartkiller, sweet
sweet. Outside, the bay night smiling at us,

Florida is a closed mouth
black against her tan skin, hands and lost keys,
hallways loud with humidity.

We don’t talk about Cleveland – just hands
as lips singing, undressing a city
wild, the laughter stuck in her teeth like cavities.

3
I would drive back to her apartment
but palm trees and a flat tire
and her naked shoulders behind a locked door.

I wanted her to be a song I already knew
but she rewrote me, my hands.
Wine is her heart backwards.

That winter her brother died, the bay did not give
a shit. Kick, fight, collapse. Wild ivy
and cement will fill in like a hand over your mouth.

4
Everything she is not: existential
teeth, bleached;
blue-eyed safety;
a good night’s sleep


Zachary Lundgren received his MFA in poetry from the University of South Florida and his BA in English from the University of Colorado at Boulder and grew up in northern Virginia. He has had poetry published in several literary journals and magazines including The Louisville Review, The Portland Review, Barnstorm Journal, The Adirondack Review, and the University of Colorado Honors Journal.