Zoe Dzunko & Mark Cugini



Somebody please put a hand up
and tell the truth: I may or may not
be the best pillow you’ve been
lost in. What can I say, I am
dealing in miracles, meterage
left for dream. You call it beauty,
I call it blue—sure, the taste
for both is in my mouth
a little. In the reflecting pool,
I make more vanity: I make
us into a parable; I make you
into a prayer; I make us come
once like white mornings, and
then I make myself into
a monument. Who honestly
expects to find anything real
outside? Not me. If the trees
were beautiful enough for us all,
then happiness would be free and
I would be a new epidemic. I shopped
for the immaculate, like a train
pulling into a station, steam
rose up to greet us and then
it was new. So, how much
can I offer you? What else
can we invent when we’re
awake in this mausoleum?
The last time you
touched me, your hand
skimmed my edge like a stone–
that was all of the gravity
I could muster. Not every siren
applies to you, and this is a
good thing, but it is also a shame.



In the one where
I watch the ground
grow messy
with lines and shrink
away, a stranger
rebuffed. I didn’t see
the ceiling the first time,
I swallowed the pillow
the second. In the other:
a fantasy about meadows
of cloud where the shapes
hide before tearing
themselves away
to become rabbits,
elephants, weird birds
or penguins.
If I could dream it again
we’d be electric–
I’d dream it again and
we’d be kaleidoscopic
reds, yellows, and blues
in a sky so bright I’d shoot
the fair one for it–
for it and for you and
for the man I’d later watch die
in front of Bryant Park,
grasping for his lungs or
his ex-wife or his tie.
As I sat swollen on an uptown
express bus,
his whole life deflated
into a sigh. I wish to be
thrown away, respire
into something hazardous.
Back then, I swear I would have
EZ Passed past a parade
of balloon animals or fun
sized flags, red-and-white,
a Chinese burn–
just to break my back
apart on your mattress.
But now I just want
a little air.
Now I want to dagger
to your riddim.
Now I just want
to get off this
fucking bus.


Mark Cugini
 is the author of I’m Just Happy To Be Here (Ink Press, 2014). He is a founding editor of Big Lucks, a contributor to HTMLGiant, and the curator of the Three Tents reading series in Washington, DC.

Zoe Dzunko lives in Melbourne, Australia and is the author of three chapbooks: All of the Men I Have Never Loved (Dancing Girl Press),  (NAP) and Wet Areas (Maverick Duck Press, forthcoming 2014). Her most recent poems have appeared in The Age, Going Down Swinging, Banango Street, Guernica, and Two Serious Ladies.