Roughly Exactly
                                                                      —Zach Savich

Old man dozing in
the furniture show-
room window.

It’s hardest to play
quiet fast.

The secret to pain is
distraction, that is,
focus. Somewhere in the mind
there isn’t
a piano.

Just a shape.
An island that
washes up. A forest
getting so quiet
it could have the fastest
notes nobody hears.
Sap notes. Spoor


The second graders are learning
impermanence by sweeping
ash portraits made ash
by ash—matching photos of
each child’s face—
into shoeboxes they’ll empty
into the river.

Tomorrow we’ll go
to the burnt plane they practice
fire in, firefighters in the cockpit
burning it, each spring.

Ask them where the ash portrait is.
And where is your memory of it.
And where is the river.
Are you wearing the shoebox’s shoes.

Zach Savich

Zach Savich is the author of six books of poetry, including Daybed (Black Ocean, 2018), and a memoir, Diving Makes the Water Deep (Rescue, 2016). He directs the BFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, and co-edits Rescue Press's Open Prose Series.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2019