Zachary Locklin
Zachary Locklin is a graduate of the Master's of Professional Writing program at the University of Southern California. He has been published in Pearl, Sheila Na Gig, The Red, Poetic Diversity and other journals.  He currently teaches composition and, occasionally, creative writing at California State University, Long Beach. 

Bride of Frankenstein

As a kid, you were always so excited
whenever you found a feather.
You’d pick it up, wave it everywhere,
slice the air with it like a weapon.
You were so fascinated with these
dead pieces of bird.

Once, in kindergarten, we found a whole bird,
a small one, dead in the grass.
We wanted to touch it, pick it up;
we didn’t want to play with it
but to recognize its significance,
it’s deadness.

But the counselor said No,
moved us away, told us
that dead birds have diseases and bugs.

Another time in Wales there was
a dead frog, perfectly flattened like paper,
precise like paper, on our path to school.

Sometimes it’s as though life,
the process of being alive,
is nothing but the toying with and prodding of
the artifacts of the dead.

Sheffield: Sex City

For a brief time, the summer I was 18,
my favorite song was Pulp’s “Sheffield: Sex City.”
Can you imagine that?
At 31 it seems ridiculous
to have a favorite song at all,
much less one called “Sex City,”
but at 18 I heard something in it
that filled the gaps in my reality.
I was 18; a distance had formed
between me and my best friends;
and I was in love for the first time
in my life.  The girl lived on
the other side of the state.
I was never going to see her again.
When Jarvis Cocker sang, “The day didn’t
go too well / too many chocolates and
cigarettes / I kept thinking of you and
almost walking into lampposts,”
it knew me.  The words knew me.

Now, at 31, it seems ridiculous
to have ever felt anything that strongly.
A month later, my favorite song had changed.
And when I saw a girl with purple hair
reading alone on a bench in the quad,
and when I asked her to lunch,
and when the next night I kissed her
for the first time,
it was like I could see the future.
It was like the future was everything.

 2013 Zachary Locklin
Zachary Locklin was a Featured Poet who read his poetry at the January 2013 Second Sunday Poetry Series