Voice inside the closet 

She sang inside confined and dark spaces –
closets thick with blouses, skirts and pants,
smooth spine of padded shoulders broken
by colors, absorbing her parcel of voice as
she longed to be held again.

The songs were sweet and sad, runny,
rolling marbles of octaves, crushed
by the weight of open air, falling like snow,
turning black at the touch, smelling the damp
underarms of her blouses as the cloth turned dry.

She looked for the right shape, to fit into like
her voice did, but nothing matched to bury all
of her at once. She stood, like her clothes, until
her breath was bare, waiting for a sheet of light
to come from under the door.


the length of our wishes

knee-deep in the navy sky, the moon
full of itself, I sip my Bourbon,
watch my yard dampen with rain,
I can almost imagine the scent
of campfire smoke hundreds of miles
away where you sit, sipping a beer,
avoiding the moon, your hair slick
as an oiled fish, and I wonder
if the length of our wishes is longer
than the robe of time we shared from
that morning to the evening before
and if you should ever think of me.



It is the dawn that aches her,
birth etched all over the sky
the flour of daylight setting in
to swell another wave.

Above her head, behind the ceiling fan
a bird lays eggs. In the garden, two
bunnies yoke and a flying jet leaves
the walls trembling as if they just came.

She practices by wearing maternity jeans,
throws up for no reason. Scans files of sperm
donors, imagines ugly babies with perfect APGAR
scores joined to her depleted, hanging breasts.

Then she kneels at the sill of life,
elicits the stars from the sky to wake up
her moldy womb but ends up with a
sour-yellow of a streetlight in her eyes.


Tara Isabel Zambrano lives in Texas. Her poems have been published in Moon City Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Healing Muse, Bop Dead City and other journals. She is an electrical engineer by profession.