I Swear I Need New Medicine

There are reasons for this too, and reasons for the reasons; there always are.
— Raymond Chandler, “The Simple Art of Murder”

I’m dreaming of Kansas again,
the way hot air
touches everything.

The back patio after a storm,
hidden in green laughter.

A chickadee puddles in the shade
of a fender in the parking lot.
I saunter by feeling drunk

with empathy, a tonic that only
lasts until I reach the automatic

glass doors leading inside
where cool air is a blessing. Then I think
peccant angels crammed on pins.

Super glue, duct tape, temporary fixes.
Everyone I know is dying or moving out.


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.