Kill Your Darlings: A Zodiac*
by Shari Zollinger
Illustrations by Holli Zollinger
March 21 to April 19
What if you stay a minute longer,
turn toward hieroglyphic heat; translate
the slow theater of fuel, oxygen, gas?
Quiet elongation of ember.
April 20 to May 20
What if you stay too long?
Clay sculpture readying for foundry,
threshold of the very long pose.
Might you enact a risky yawn?
May 21 to June 21
What if you say nothing,
even when rumor gathers in your throat,
or when the tornado under your tongue
June 22 to July 22
What if you stop looking in the mirror?
Nanao Sakaki says, “to stay young, to save the world, break the mirror.”
Wetland-scattered water calls up a new image.
The place where blue herons nest.
July 23 to August 22
What if you walk through the city,
not as yourself? Invisible, cloaked—disguised.
Moustached and platinum-mohawked,
how will you survive the day?
August 23 to September 23
What if you let the dust settle?
Skiff of very fine powder accumulates
in the gutters of rare books.
Resist the temptation to scatter.
September 24 to October 22
What if you risk asymmetry?
This will mean a new set of plans.
Let the pond ripple.
Look for chaos.
October 23 to November 21
What if you let go of her hand?
Kite-like, she’ll fly up,
tiny bowties on string. Tether release.
Emptiness palms a beginning.
November 22 to December 21
What if you came down
from your fire outlook, from smoke
and elevation? It’s time to walk
off the mountain.
December 22 to January 19
What if you let Time
fall from a cliff face? How will you
measure your minutes going
January 20 to February 18
What if you consider
coming in from the stars, just for a peek
at what the humans are doing?
This will be research.
February 19 to March 20
What if you lie a little longer,
if only to consider the astonishing
dream motif conjured night
*Note: I use the phrase “kill your darlings” loosely with the idea that with each Zodiac sign comes an expected listing of traits, keywords, and storylines. All expected things can afford to be challenged.