Jaime Zuckerman

“There is no blue without yellow and without orange.” –Van Gogh

                    Let’s talk about this morning and all
the ones before and after.
Say what you already know:
the heart knows nothing.

Let’s talk about marriages and mornings.
I mean this one and all the past lives’ marriages.

                    (A dozen lives ago I was an arborist
in Andalusia and you a particular orange tree.
Once, we were once a pair
                                                  of albatrosses.
Then, you were Yves Klein, and I was the color blue.)

Let’s talk about the mornings I wake
already in your mouth.
                                           Mornings arguing
about the child we don’t have, mornings
under quilts with the shock of snow outside.
Mornings when I worry what this life
will become and how to find you in the next,
and you say shh shh like the ocean.
I might make you French toast with extra cinnamon.
Some mornings the air between us is a book opened
for the first time in decades.

This morning you handed me a peeled orange
full of light, a whole world in your palm.


Jaime Zuckerman is the author of two chapbooks, Letters to Melville (Ghost Proposal, 2018) and Alone in this Together (Dancing Girl Press, 2016) as well as recent or forthcoming poems in Forklift, Ohio, Hobart, NightBlock, Foundry, Thrush, Vinyl and other journals. She serves as the co-editor-in-chief and poetry editor of Redivider, the art director for Sixth Finch, and a senior reader for Ploughshares. She grew up in the woods, but now lives and teaches in Boston, MA.