Another Terminal Love Poem

Martha Zweig

Dearest alphabetchagammaglob,

o mulish puke & mucus summoning six

bucket brigades a day to tote,

you gutter-glib & tireless

liar listen up: the end humps near, the abyss

whistles & scratches its signal itch;

its anathematic prompts & twists,

enlists our own two wits to woo us, even as we insist

we’ve already spun our likenesses true, which in fact we did do.

Nobody makes self & other entirely up, & never

exactly hot buttered fun to persist—yet spare me not

one more spring illness green at the gills & spoiling

for appetite, any love duet at all among these sour

lilac slumps some slack-&-grifter must’ve left

us both behind among, still hunching our long haul.

Martha Zweig is a poet who lives in Vermont. Her collections include Get Lost, Monkey Lightning, What Kind, Vinegar Bone, A Skirmish of Harks, and Powers. A recipient of the Hopwood and Whiting awards, she worked for ten years in a pajama factory, including a term as ILGWU shop chair, and ten years as an advocate for seniors.
Originally published:
February 14, 2024


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