Devouring Muse

Thomas Zimmerman

My mourning-battened soul she eats, each bite
a scabrous skin sloughed off, a grief entombed,
until my psyche’s stripped to bone. Then light
reveals my weakness, and I’m sure I’m doomed

to loll in hunger at her feet, a cur
that begs for table scraps; a pilgrim gaunt
from fasting, raven-eyed at sight of her;
a wraith demystified, too pale to haunt

and dashed to earth with feathers, leaves, and dirt,
yet sentient, aware of powers lost.
But soon she holds me in her arms, and hurt
is gone. Divine embrace! Her ankles crossed

behind my back, she kisses me to feed
me back my pain refined--a poet’s need.

Thomas Zimmerman teaches English and directs the Writing Center at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, MI. More than 300 of his poems have appeared in small magazines over the years. He has recent work in The Shantytown Anomaly, Triptych Haiku, and Wanderings. His favorite fruit is the apple.