Corey Zeller



Not a plain ring, but the way you hold your hand on your lap when you sit beside me in the park, palm up, your body pointed toward mine like a needle ready to pour through a seam. Not mornings, together, drinking coffee at a well-worn table but rides alone to work, a piece of us embedded in a song on the radio like an arrowhead someone finds in a field from some long, forgotten war. Not music, even, just the language we taught each other: ripe fruit, bygone sky, the anxious and unnamable scars. Not forever, or tomorrow, just now. It’s beginning to rain and you’re worried about your daughter playing on the playground. Or maybe you’re worried about your husband at home, pouring another scotch, waiting for his family to return. The sky lights up with electricity and you shout for her not to touch anything and it becomes a game. Thunder crackles. She goes around touching everything she can and I stare at you, close enough to touch you and it’s like all the stems of every flower breaking; how parallel lines never cross. And your daughter runs around the playground in the rain grabbing the trees, grabbing the swings, the fences: “Can I touch this?” “How about this?” “Or this?” “Or this?” “This?”


Corey Zeller is the author of Man vs. Sky (YesYes Books, 2013) and You and Other Pieces (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2015) . His work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Colorado Review, Indiana Review, Gulf Coast, Puerto del Sol, Mid-American Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Diagram, Salt Hill, West Branch, Third Coast, BOMB Magazine, Bat City Review, New York Tyrant, New Orleans Review, Green Mountains Review, The Rumpus, PEN America, Academy of American Poets, Denver Quarterly, The Southeast Review, The Journal, Verse Daily, Sonora Review, McSweeney’s, among others.