November 12, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Zak Mucha




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The 110 lb. sigh of a Romanian girl

signifying the burden of knowing


enough language. She digs at her deep dish

pizza at a lakeshore picnic table


where a coked-up day trader dive bombs the

Bud Light Sunday sailors from his water-


propelled jet pack, dreaming of hedge funds, bit

coins, start-ups, and products that do not exist.



She wants to dig her hands into the grass,

twisting into the roots of the oaks and


birches dotting the strips of grass between

sidewalk and curb, countering the tremors


absorbed epigenetically when

the ground opened up beneath her mother



who knew of the irradiated rooms

the police used, allowing cancer cells


to bloom between arrest and release, no

questioning needed to nurse convictions.


The other women told how the McDonald’s

was, for six months, a three-hour wait with


couples dressed in funeral and prom best,

a respite from the generational curses.



Nannying the American family

this mom shows her iPhone video of


baby cooing and laughing at two months,

behind the camera, Mom asks, “Who do


you like better, Mommy or daddy?”

she sees the caul return and the adults


can be heard laughing

at the baby’s dilemma.






Zak Mucha

Zak Mucha, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice and an analytic candidate at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis. Previously he supervised a community mental health program working with persons suffering severe psychosis, substance abuse issues, and homelessness. His most recent book is Emotional Abuse: A manual for self-defense.

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