Alexander Ziperovich

The bubbles rise up to greet you at the surface when you drink,

meeting your lips like flowers meeting your nose,

and the smell is mellifluous, the sweet nectar melting into you like spring snow.


Breaking your teeth on rocks.


Falling constantly like reckless Tetris blocks into messy spots,

walking home from Harborview alone in my socks,

and they still flushed everything in the box –

and even though the box had just killed me I wanted to climb back inside to feel free,



Breaking all of your teeth on rocks.


I didn’t believe the ER doctor about the CPR this time,

last time they left my chest and ribs bruised,

I believe in pain – everything else is a ruse.


No regards for petals of pretty roses ripped by knives to nothing,

no hiding from cities hopeless, defined by the dying,

no smiling, no smiling, no smiling, no smiling.


Days later I’m pulling EKG leads off of my torso, attaching them to paintings,

having conversations that sound like prerecorded daydreams,

and my brain swells and sings and screams,

and my heart continues to beat.


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