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ZACHARIAH CLAYPOLE WHITE

Zachariah Claypole White is a Philadelphia-based writer and educator, originally from North Carolina. He holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, where he was a Jane Cooper Poetry Fellow. His poetry and prose have appeared in or are forthcoming from Southeast Review, The Baltimore Review, and The Rumpus, amongst others. Zachariah has received support from the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop and his awards include Flying South's 2021 Best in Category for poetry as well as nominations for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Zachariah teaches at the Community College of Philadelphia and the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. Find him on Instagram.



OCD SONNET #.7

god i hate airports sometimes i say flying

but really it’s airports the emptiness

of crowds the waiting god i hate the waiting

the weight of impatience piled across suitcases

the local time is both hand and ticket

the woman boarding with no luggage

but a ragged mandolin and what if we all

carried music into the sky—music and maybe

one change of clothes—music which is perhaps

another word for prayer though i don’t want

us to be closer to god just a melody like wrens

in terminal rafters or how last night someone stole

the jasmine plant straight from its pot on jeeva's porch

all the dirt scattered like herrings down her stairs.



ERIN SAYS THE TREES ARE DYING


Listen—I hope there is snow

in my grandmother’s garden,

that the new owners tend

it well, allow the elderberries

their slow trespass,

pick the strawberries

only a day too soon.

 

The world will continue

I believe this.

 

Today geese rose from the river

as if in awe of their own flight;

every banker’s knee

was bloody with delight

at the forest’s wet floor

and, between headstones

unweeded, the grass began

its tender ascent.



WHAT WILL THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?

—turn phone to portrait mode to view properly




OCD SONNET #.10


The throat lets in anxiety and smoke more out of habit

than spite the stomach welcomes both with empty plates

the hands are distracted too busy searching through coats

or checking departure times to notice that every name

is a flowering wound in our conversation even the light here is distant

racing to completion most days i don’t mind—no that’s a lie

—most days the doors are unlocked and the coffee pot half-full

but today as jeeva’s father lights the stove allspice crusts

like week-old snow against his ring and i remember chuck—dead

three years now—preparing thanksgiving turkey he must

have woken hours before us spent those first morning silences

piling hollow bones on the kitchen table stitching the bird’s

herb-soaked skin with devotions so gentle none of us

could tell where the knife first touched.






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