The Sun Fights an Anxiety Attack 

The sun is

lost in his

shirt and


a million bent

arms against

cotton sleeves—

they’re twisted

inside, his

throat stuffed

shut; he rages

to scratch

himself out

of his shroud. 

With bloated

lungs, he’s

wound in the

clouds; the

sky powers


monsters, they

drool and

drop their

sweat— electric

bursts of



break free

and blacken

some small

things below. 

Fishing Tomorrow 

            The line

doesn’t wind or tighten as it should

or would if he were a real man, he said

out loud at the outside table—the string

all strung on the chairs, a hook stuck in

a cushion, the opened booklet confusing  

him more.  The only time his Dad ever taught him anything was when he tossed the kid

                                                            into              a


                                          to see           if he

                         would             float.    


He emptied his nightstand when he left.

His drawers wobble and echo.  

                  The bed drifts,

his hot weight withdrawn.

I'm unanchored, erring into the tide.  

                  And the wind lifts

the pillows I've fluffed and stacked

in the slate-clean sheets.  

                  I lined the linen edges

square with our wedding quilt ruffles.

Now they’re dripping in ocean.  

                  The waves rise up like ledges

and cover my sleeplessness.

I'm trying to breathe under

layers of water. 

Catherine Zickgraf is a former American Northerner excited about growing her roots into the red Georgia clay.  Her most recent credits include a forthcoming poem in Journal of the American Medical Association’s “Poetry and Medicine” section.  She is indebted to myspace for reuniting her with the son she placed for adoption eighteen years ago.  You can find her there:


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