Danielle Zaccagnino



HOME: girls just wanna have fun on the stereo and mom off-key and me drawing on my skin in marker and an uncle staying on the couch and pop staying on the couch and an aunt living in the back room and a rosary hanging next to a tiny disco ball.


HOME: hair pulling and rollerblading and eating icing out of the jar and my friend hits me with a metal bat by accident and my friend drops a bowling ball on my toes and everyone says i'm a crybaby it's not that serious.


HOME: my stoop and a boom box singalong and dad yelling at the neighborhood kids, they made fun of me, and me apologizing to them, i don't want them to be mad. and dad's face at the screen door, i don't want him to be mad, i don't want anyone to be mad.


IMAGINE: my head a lightbulb / with a circuit of tongues / flicking and flickering /


HOME: block party karaoke and pushing my aunt up and down the ramp, i like the heaviness of the wheelchair, she likes the ride, and flintstones push-up pops and an above-ground swimming pool and an uncle eating grass for laughs.


HOME: chicken parm and someone's raising their voice and everyone's on edge and sprinklers and getting color and just a warning, fuckface is dropping by, and mister softee and the aide won't do her job and the aide quit again and shut up already would you and 25-cent bracelets on bracelets on bracelets.


HOME: a small room with a slanted roof and everyone is shouting and my hands on my ears and trying to catch my breath and gasping and dripping snot and replaying the cry in the bathroom when everyone falls asleep because i need to feel it again and gasping and shaking because it feels so strong.


IMAGINE: my hair in flames / crackling under the salon's big blow dryer and everyone / roasting marshmallows over / my head and it's distracting / and i close my eyes in a fire daze / and my towel falls like teeth in a dream


HOME: practicing for dance recitals and someone cartwheels into the christmas tree and anisette cookies and an uncle shouting in the street, which neighbors are out, i want so bad to be liked.


HOME: a small playground at night, dad's neighborhood. pink green and blue lanterns, black railings. bocce ball courts with teams of old men. warm air. thick-crust pizza. stray cats. sticky fingers.


HOME: annoyed faces in photos and easter bonnets and my friend starts a circus and i'm a girl with no lines and no moves and i can't breathe in grandma's bed because the boys made fun of me again and my body hair and my jiggling and i can't breathe but i can warble.


IMAGINE: a waterfall / my piano fingers / cupping it like a flame / or framing it on a wall / a rainbowfall /


IMAGINE: snowflakes / 8x10, falling / on a log, floating / on a river i've never seen /


HOME: mom says if i eat too much i'll be roly poly and she'll roll me down the street but i eat jesus at a church and fun dip all the time and bet pennies on pokeeno on grandmas plastic tablecloth and i split maple seeds and stick them to my nose like moth wings or apple shavings and the boys smear fireflies on the street.


HOME: i spin in circles in pink leggings under jean shorts and i love nana's long purple witch-nails and i pray at every grave and i color very carefully and i trip up stairs and i chip my tooth and i crawl into couches like a dust mite.


HOME: my favorite cat dies in a fridge at the flower shop and my street is named after pigeons and i spend days with paranoid squirrels and mom wakes up scared and asks where's the man, was there a man in here, and does it all the time.


IMAGINE: an accordion / whose middle droops / hits the floor as the music / continues, warped


IMAGINE: my body blue / with paint, red / darts shooting / from my eyes / black and endless


HOME: i hold my pillow like a violin and i'm mortified once i say that grandmas butt is like meatballs and i want to do everything right so my page is covered in flecks of rubber and i throw it out anyway because you can see i erased and my teacher says erasing's not allowed.


IMAGINE: me, a whale wriggling / up spray painted stairs / rorschach cardboard / an ink blot / slipping slipping


IMAGINE: me, swinging / on a grandfather clock like a hammock


HOME: ring pops and candy dots and so much shouting and crouching behind the couch with my sister and so much shouting and hiding in the closet and climbing back down a diving board.


IMAGINE: climbing up the body / of a slick gold trophy / clambering to the clawfoot tub / at the top / where i'll bathe in blankets / if i make it up /