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Robins call
Chickadee bleats
The aroma of summer peeking through
the gentle mist of morning’s blue
Dandelions push through concrete
Trees are lush and green,
pink petals sprinkle like snow
Invasive flowers stretch and grow,
to roadways and ditches
Joggers emerge once more
for only when weather adorns
Cloud cover appears at 9 am
Then rain at 12
And sun at 3
Never a dull moment in spring
it’s troubling.

to be but one missed dosed from death
from the sting of warm showers
and the ache of tight clothes
rubbing on bark textured skin
The darkening of faded lines
Tip toeing that vermilion tightrope.

I am tempted by light chairs  
by satin smooth ropes and twine
leaning close to door handle delight
a hug around delicate veins
May I dream of peace before being
For it is my only true god

I only see this illness in memories failure.
when medicine is sidelined
to work and school and friends.  
Only am I reminded of it’s weight
When I grow reckless and wild
daring to miss my dose.
Elizabeth Zenk Nov 2021
Fish in a bowl
Round and round

Swimming in ****
Bathing in ****

Soon I will die
A living prize

I’m a fish
in my bowl  

Round and round
Until I die
I am cheaper than the stuffed animals
I am a state fair goldfish
Elizabeth Zenk May 2021
I know that when I’m gone
you will mock me for my selfishness
for taking my life away from you
but please know,
that I lived my life bound by selflessness
I lived to serve and please
I recited my poems in rehearsal
so my last words could comfort you
and you’d never feel to do the same as I
I scar my flesh to bear my cross
So you may never have to.
Please know,
I lived every day confined by others needs
I listened to your woes
I starve my body to bear your cross
So you may never have to.
Know that this last act I take isn’t selfish
That my last act is one of freedom
It will be my only act of self-indulgence
in my life of catering you.
my final act is one of freedom
I died to please myself
Elizabeth Zenk May 2021
He is the full moon

my eyes they drift up

from the two white lines

just a moment at a time

a flirt with death

a touch of gravel

He is the full moon

my eyes they drift up

from a parked car

an hour at a time

I’m late again

a touch on my arm

He is the full moon tonight

but he will wane

he will shrink

his love will weazen

I will be left alone

I will not be whole

She is my new moon.
Be my new moon
Elizabeth Zenk May 2021
The first time it happened I was 5
I was lured by candy as children are
All I can remember is hands and pain
And being told to not remember
And I when I speak on it
All I can hear is familial silence
And stares that tell me to not speak up at all
When CPS came knocking on the door
I covered for him.
My mom asked me why
Why I didn’t tell her all these years
My response was simple:
I did the first time it happened
It continued still, you were drunk after all
I wasn’t the first he did it to
And I’m sure I wasn’t the last
It’s weird to tell people to not joke about ******
It’s weird to tell people my first experience was when I was five
It’s weird to tell people I remember
It’s weird to pretend I don’t

The second time it happened I was 15
With my first ever boyfriend
I was out cold, and he did as he did
I don’t remember much, but this
He’s checked my pulse and he bragged
For months I didn’t realize what happened
I could not register what it was
I told my mom, I could see she blamed me
I could see trust wane in her rise
I could tell she didn’t see it how it hurt me
I was 15 and asleep
He was 16 and awake
And somehow I blame myself
It’s weird to tell people I still love him
It’s weird to tell people I forgave
It’s weird having to tell people it wasn’t my fault
And it’s weird losing friends over it

Third time it was with my boyfriend again
I wasn’t asleep I wasn’t a child
I was scared
He held me still
I said no but he didn’t know I was serious
Tears slipped out of my eyes
I froze in terror
I cried for hours afterwards
I knew what it was, he knew what it was
I blame myself.
I told him no.
No. No. No.
Now I flinch when someone touches the back of my head
I am wounded
It’s weird to tell people it happened again
It’s weird I still love him after all of it
It’s weird to forgive again
It’s weird

They were hundreds of times between
Of men touching what they weren’t supposed to
Of I’m making comments about me
Coercing me
Making me a part of their perversions
Of believing flirting is ticket for their ****** harassment
Of making me instinctively hate men.
Victim blaming
I am yet a woman
It’s weird to not be a woman
It’s weird to be a talking point
It’s weird to be silenced
It’s weird.
Elizabeth Zenk Apr 2021

may it come in rains

periodically, forcefully

persistent in its integrity

distant for some maybe

but all so interpersonal for me

tapping on my window

showering me

seeping through the cracks

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