Stacie McCall Whitaker - Stone Coast, Maine

What I Carry in the Pocket of My Heart


The tow-headed tot in the overpriced coffee shop
spots her twin, points at nothing.
I’ve had too much caffeine again.
Plus the pills,
a week on the wagon.
I think of my mother playing dominoes,
her hands shaking as she places the bones.
My hand shakes as I write this poem.


the birds of appetite circle
feel the tickle of tail feather
the breeze of flap
they crow they sorrow
picking at scraps in the frozen grass
fuel to caw
they leave you still


In the afterlife, my ghost grows obtuse,
plays Spanish guitar at odd hours.
The truth is I lied. There is
no other side. I drink
mocha in a styrofoam cup.
All around me people go on.
I make up stories for them
with titles like this—She remembers when Greta Garbo
did the twist
—and—the tow-headed tot
spots her twin.

About the Author

Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for Deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children’s librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook—The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press)—and a full-length poetry collection—What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC.