Zoe Dzunko

Water Park

From those satellites, the pounding
of your heart inside the tunnel
slide is very quiet. The blue
snaking ‘round and the gush about
you; do you remember the time
a universe tore you from its
seams without consent, a star died
for every one of you. And why
the fear when your friends are floating
at the bottom; your silver suit
is untying itself. Thighs torn
open by the hungry push of
gravity: thinking drowning but
you don’t. In this order: children
and cola iceblocks, the gingham
hits your knee, zinc stick, bubble gum
tattoo, the dandy brush wielded
with intent. So near the sunshine,
a piano plays for each of
your summer flings. And that muscle
of want somersaulted at the
thought of zippers; recall velour
red carpet of the cinema
against your back, your lips between
his teeth; you stay sixteen for just
a moment. Last week, the tulips
died so quickly after you bought
them; inside is the sound of one
single petal dropping onto
hardwood; outside, the sky greys
itself and threatens opening.

Bruise Factory

And what does your sadness taste like?
Today it is the two pounds of
chicken fillet squandered inside
of that abysmally seasoned
Stroganoff. Tomorrow, nothing
but a vacant car park and no car
to fill it. Maybe, the brown bag
smell of youth, the thin and brittle
legs that snapped off of the insect
too easily, between fingers
and lament—let the missing cat
be on its way. As women do,
I begged you to hand yours over
and you gave me two tomato
soaked sandwiches and a yoyo
without string. Answer this of beauty,
at what point did teenagers steal
it from the towering trees. All clean
skin and immaterial hope;
each night I would dream a little
dream for us, but the world simply
rolled over. Minus one bruise, now,
and was there anything better
than waking beneath heavy sheets
to a cold room for the first time
today. Just as much might be turned
to flesh-tone by the redemptive
powers of bread’s soft and crunchy
polarity; when the dough rose
skyward, possessed with intent, and
yet, a black eye from your fathers’
fist in exchange for a chipped smile.


Zoe Dzunko is a doctoral student in Creative Writing at Deakin University and the author of two chapbooks, All of the Men I Have Never Loved (Dancing Girl Press, forthcoming 2013) and Wet Areas (Maverick Duck Press, forthcoming 2014). She has widely published poetry and short fiction in numerous print and online journals worldwide, some of which can be seen or is forthcoming in places such as The Age, Going Down Swinging, Softblow, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Otoliths, NAP, The Scrambler, Sway Press, etc.