Neal Zirn: Two Poems


Walking in the foothills,
together, you wearing that wide-brimmed,
floppy hat, which cost you dearly when you
flirted with what amounted to a salesboy,
right in front of me, as if I were your cuckold,
and you were my hotwife, even though we
were never married.

Step by step, stride for stride,
we negotiate the path, with wild grasses
marking our way, grey clouds overhead
like boats without sails, drifting: the day
a circle, your tenseness palpable,

the wind blowing by us like someone we
can’t remember, like you with your secrets,
and your thinking about things you think
I don’t know.


On Your Leaving

Things end. Except for those that don’t.
Like the serpent’s circle or parallel lines
that never meet.

It is said that the Buddha experienced
a hundred-thousand past lives the night
before he attained enlightenment, and that
we exist within an infinite past that is behind
us and an infinite future that is in front of us.

You may believe that something is over,
but truly, that may not be the case. I ask,
what can eventually cease that never really

Your leaving was like the autumn leaves
that have fallen to the ground, and have been
covered up by the first snows of winter,

waiting for the thaw to be revealed.

Neal Zirn writes, “I was born and raised in the Bronx and I am a retired chiropractor. My work has appeared in numerous publications in the U.S. and Canada including Blueline, Mudfish, Nerve Cowboy, Concho River Review, The Dalhousie Revue, The Big Windows Review, and Shot Glass Journal. I have placed seven times in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest and my chapbook, Manhattan Cream, was published by MuscleHead Press.”

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