Jaime Zuckerman
from Love Letters to Melville

Whenever I go through a phase of worrying about the world, I start counting things. Enumerating stairs as I climb is inevitable, but I must be more careful of things with small parts. Otherwise, I would spend an entire afternoon on leaves or pixels; the stars would fill the night completely.

206,052 words.

You did this relentlessly, too, measuring jawbones and tails, boring generations of readers with your effort to compute the poetic. They may be the mutterings of a madman, but I understand this need. You knew your failure even as you reached for your calipers, began measuring the next tooth.




from Love Letters to Melville

What would you make of this—a man appeared on the city’s most impressive building, seven stories tall, drifting on a raft. Reflected sky in glass, he is surrounded by light, looks up. One evening, the moon is speared on this building, and he gazes at it longingly. The golds, purples, and greys of our weather reflect to form his horizon, water and sky in definite lines; his meridians make a geographical sense of our chaos. I think he shifts his position a little each day. He is alone and floating there, like all of us.

It is art unlike anything you would have seen. I wonder if you would be mesmerized, find meaning? Would you see yourself on that raft?

Jaime Zuckerman teaches and writes in the Boston area where she is a current MFA candidate at Emerson College. She is the author of the chapbook Alone in this Together (Dancing Girl Press, 2016). Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Ampersand, DecomP, Fruita Pulp, Ghost Ocean, Souvenir Lit, Paper Nautilus, and other journals. She is the assistant poetry editor for Redivider and art director for Sixth Finch.