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About this Poem 

“‘real poem (personal statement)’ is part of a series that is interspersed throughout my new book The Pedestrians and investigates, often in light-hearted ways, poetry and poetics, especially simile, metaphor, voice, description, literalism, and confessionalism.”

—Rachel Zucker

real poem (personal statement)

Rachel Zucker

I skim sadness like fat off the surface
of cooling soup. Don't care about
metaphor but wish it would arrive
me. There’s a cool current of air
this hot day I want to ride.
I have no lover, not even my love.
I have no other, not even I.

Copyright @ 2014 by Rachel Zucker. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on May 28, 2014.

Copyright @ 2014 by Rachel Zucker. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on May 28, 2014.

Rachel Zucker

Rachel Zucker

Rachel Zucker was born in 1971 in New York City and was raised in Greenwich Village. She earned her BA in psychology at Yale University, then her MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa.

by this poet

poem
At home, the bells were a high light-yellow
with no silver or gray just buttercup or sugar-and-lemon.

Here bodies are lined in blue against the sea.
And where red is red there is only red.

I have to be blue to bathe in the sea.
Red, to live in the red room with red air

to rest my head, red cheek down, on the
poem
Spring is not so very promising as it is the thing
that looking back was fire, promising:
ignition, aspiration; it was not under my thumb.

Now when I pretend a future it is the moment
he holds the thing I say new-born,
delicate, sure to begin moving but

I am burned out of it like the melody underneath
(still
poem

and I'd like to get naked and into bed and be hot radiating heat from the inside these sweaters and fleeceys do nothing to keep out the out or keep my vitals in—some drafty body