I spend years of my life in dusty warehouses
dreaming about women who will never love me.
I whisper lies in the sweaty afterglow
of sex. I practice love by call and response.
When my father’s heart stops without notice,
I feel a fishbone stuck in my throat and know
my last chance to speak has passed.
My gills pulse. Water rises.
Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for Deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children’s librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook — The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press) — and a full-length poetry collection — What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC.