Zack Anderson


a quartet of blasted trees
slouch at the edge of the pond
and throw their jointed image in

one trunk warped by a burl
rope of root curled in a socket
an embolus crawling up a vessel

I have seen my death

the fingers dredge up silt
a body taken apart under the sea
assembles itself on the tidal machine

playing lazily among the squid beaks
a hand waves ballasted with a ring
flecks of alien gold glinting under the nail



You might think me frigid
to hone this blade in the bristles

once I rooted in humus
among the rusts and smuts

rutted in a cluster of wood ear
in a crown of spores

in the glen I ran with a tusk
erupting from my jaw

I ran into a circle of graces
and held the tusk to my pig organ

this is a stickup a razorback
a dull scraping of hooves

a casing to hold the sausage in
I feed myself to the passel

the graces paint their cheeks
to defend against the angels of the lord



I murdered the dauphin for his oxblood raiment.
For his fabulous rubbery skin. I made myself
intouchable in his mammal jacket. Pearlescent stole.
Strike up the danse, flense, and pas de bourrée.
Carry on, everyone’s carrion, it’s the new couture.
The ballerina sloshes a glass of neutron yellow
you can drink like anything else if it’s cold. Santé.
Let the roast dauphin jaw an apple. Let us dine
in the reactor core, the artificial womb, the storm
drain. We float down the watershed in a plastic château
and skin dive the trireme in actual skin. Lift the scuttled
wine cup and look through the drunk god’s painted eyes
with the vision of a marble satyr staring at his helical penis.
Swan boats pole around the lawn by the light of a bad planet
while a water spirit chases his horses out of the fountain.
The ballerina dumps the dauphin in the imperial boudoir.
We sparkle in a royal dose among the creatures of the pool.



Dream death is a dog nail
lodged in the skin overnight

red skein unraveling its bolero
a euthanized bison bleed

garnish where the bone should be
blood-shouldered horse at a dead

gallop spilling a warp of weeds
from a rip in the meadow’s hide

It was clear sun and prismatic drops
the house was going down like a ship

the horse was filling up with sand
it collected in the bucket’s crease

I was eating chopped dates
rolled in flour

the dog’s eye came open
it was utterly white


ZACK ANDERSON holds an MFA from the University of Notre Dame, where he worked for Action Books, and an MA from the University of Wyoming. He teaches English in Denver and writes for American Microreviews and Interviews.