The Boiler

Danielle Zaccagnino

PORTRAIT OF THE WOMAN AS PRESSURE PHOSPHENE

Press eyes for flashing lights. Portrait of the woman
as a trance. As the twinge of recognition—
it gets really comfortable in there. As the holding of breath. As puncturing
a casing, ribs like grassy cliffs. She’s ghost sick. Portrait
as hands strengthened by dirt. As solitary animal. As the slip
in a chorus line. Wind-up deer. She never gets caught
in headlights. Sets herself going—as arcade
claw machine. As hazardess. Thunder cover band.
Portrait of the woman as a revelation. I didn’t hear what she said
but it convinced me. A portrait at all—
there’s nothing left to sway. Portrait of the woman
as paradise world, as kelp, as marble on marble countertop.
As full moon. As falling? As nebulae, bottled, and bursting, as motion.

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Danielle Zaccagnino is a poetry student at Texas State University. She was the winner of the Sonora Review’s 2016 Essay Prize, and her writing also appears in Word Riot, The Pinch, The Butter, Puerto del Sol, SAND, weirderary, Italian Americana, and Rust + Moth. Danielle is from Queens, New York.