Amie Zimmerman



I have lived in a time where the spark of sound carries burning lilac straight into windows & under bed covers to the flashlight lit red fetal hands cupped around dreams of running legs & gunning motors & trains forever chugging, tracks of heaven, longing, singeing calves on mufflers, tongues looking for clover honey, finding bees. I have lived in a house with storage space under the stairs, bean bag & corded red-lips landline phone, AM/FM bandwidth radio cassette player, hitting record & play at the same time when the top ten songs came on. The rounded corner of the black plastic box pressing hard against my pubic bone, body arching forward, I have lived in moments where I held my breath, listened to Def Leppard, told my lungs to fuck off as they raked their cups along the bars in protest, wait, press harder, lift more, it is the same orgasm I have each time, I’ll sing it for you. I have lived in a kitchen with my dad, listening to Rush Limbaugh, giggling when a man calls a woman a feminazi, in front of a man, while I am a woman, for a man & with a man & to a man, while I desire a man, & ask a man to love me & to a man to have worth or be worthy to a man & have a man who tells a woman that a man has desire to be a man & a woman has desire for a man & it is only a man who is a man. It isn’t as if I am a man. I am a woman. I receive that definition. I have lived in the Old Time Gospel Hour & the Old Time Revival Hour & the Old Time of Nostalgia for the Present Time & the Hour of Witching Time & the Giving of the Gifts & the Asking of the Holy Spirit. The hours I have lived seem heavy & brown with tobacco, the kind you put in water, the kind that works to kill the aphids that turn leaves in on themselves, the kind that makes you weigh one kind of life against another.





4. Something that I was sitting with while writing this collection was the element of attempting to define one's own identity as a woman while inside of the distortion of abuse and the inability to access language to name it. The ugly erasure of women in the Christian evangelical patriarchy, and the calculated removal of access to intersectional feminism, isolates women from each other and from their identities.