Abigail Zimmer

Spirit Animal

I'm afraid to suggest squirrel because
even now, rooting about for some
remembered happiness, I know
to retreat from the morning
and sleep with arms tucked under
like chicken wings. I wish I could
order my spirit animal online,
have it come packaged in small parts
which I assemble on the kitchen floor.
Something that looks like a wing
or fin or genitals would confuse me
and I would call my dad for advice.
What does your gut tell you?
he would ask, before pulling out
A Field Guide to Birds of North America
which I gave him on a birthday
when I forgot his birthday. I want
something to walk to the lake on
Saturday mornings, let loose in water.
Sing! I sing, because I know no other words
When my friend invites me to dinner,
we tear into forbidden meats
and fall asleep, hands clenching
a bit of fur, bodies expanding
in bulk, another row of teeth.


Abigail Zimmer's chapbook fearless as I seam is available through dancing girl press. She lives in Chicago where she's the poetry editor for The Lettered Streets Press. Her work has appeared in Whiskey Island, Spork, Ilk, and The New Megaphone, among others.