Matthew Zingg

Ars Poetica in Marfa, Texas
by Matthew Zingg

Here are the raw, tan hands of the desert, a little scrubweed
stuck in its fingernails, and a great lashing of sun.

In the distance, a shawl of thunderclouds dresses the horizon,
curls low over the knuckled hills. Past that a different terrain,

a chill before creation, a place not mine since I’ve yet to travel
that far. Soon enough it will be dark and I’ll know

the strange lights which throw themselves across the night (other-
worldly visitors perhaps) are only mirrors for my eyes.

But where could I be? The life I wove into the land, the blood
I strung along fault lines and the veins of silver, the flush

I gave the evening bird, the sigh I put to the wind, all me.
And the littleness of my heart too. Though still,

I say this because I could and wanted to, because seeing
is a matter of feeling things out, not experience.

Even the Reata was a fake, its windows and doorways of sky
sculpted by the dry air, the empty skull of an illusion,

now a skeleton, an anonymous outline of lumber. After awhile
my world as well will be nothing more than rusty nails

and rotted wood, an honest notion that a separate universe
once existed in the hull of these motionless gestures.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 2.

Matthew ZinggMatthew Zingg’s work has appeared in Muzzle, Opium Magazine, The Paris-American, Everyday Genius, The Atlas Review, Blackbird, The Awl, The Rumpus, 32 Poems, and HTML Giant among others. Zingg lives in Baltimore where he curates the Federal Dust Reading Series.

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