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A Sonnet Without Longing

Poetry, Toma Zbrizher

I always come back to make the same mistake;

the future is the past in a different dress

Coco said, take one thing off and I get completely naked

When I took off, I took longing off too

Alone again, my body my body again

Not adorned in dresses or dressed in adoring fingers

Just (adorable) sweat and dirty hair

I was taught to remember it pink all lipstick, all pelvis

drunk on desire, thrust toward something beyond the tangible

what sticks to memory’s skin are fingers like sweat-soaked spandex

fumbling for something inside me they would never trigger

No haut salvation in here No sweetheart, sweetheart

Just a starving dog sucking at its own tail cuz it tastes safer

than anything it's been served from man’s palm


Toma Zbrizher is a Ukrainian-born, American poet. Her work has appeared most recently in Limp Wrist Journal, Soup Can Magazine, Event, Grist, and others. Zbrizher was the recipient of the NJ Poets Prize in 2021 and a finalist for the Glitter Bomb Award, judged by Dorianne Laux. Her first collection of poems, Tell Me Something Good, was published by Get Fresh Books in 2019. She lives in New Jersey with her son, a hamster and a very talkative black cat.


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