Matthew Zingg

from Permanent Residence
by Matthew Zingg

Fall is a maddening spell—a windy babushka:
each day a minor disappearing act:

I want to mention the patina of copper roofs
as a place for unrest: the mountains—

when they are freshly skinned—
mean less & less:

now is the time of year I grow sick:

I shower with the lights off—study the grime
at the basin bottom—the daily cues:

(a knee ache in the morning):

(the radiator’s barometric choke):

thirty minutes a day I spend
dusting the bookshelves—gathering laundry:

preparing my home for the next
new layer of dirt:

I am drowning in the stupid colors of the season—
I go tearing through those mountains

looking for an endless stretch of road.


After dinner you re-clean the lawnmower’s
carburetor—soak the jets in kerosene—

then piece the whole back together:

you are a man of work—whose hands
have shaped the work that shapes yours—

hands withdrawn when the shop lamp
clicks on—how the garage windows pull

at the night grass—hands like that: take the time

I stood in the doorway as an example of you
gauging the distance

in a spark plug’s gap—
did you notice: either nothing stuck with me

or everything has:

when there is a yard I can call mine I’ll call it
yours—I’ll cut the same pattern each Sunday—

I’ll keep the mechanism clean—my hands will be

more than bone—more than movement.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 4.

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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