Zach Semel

Watching Dallas Buyers Club

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

On Parents

Why are they mad at me
for covering up holes in the wall
with paintings?

Isn’t it enough to have heard
my hammer break through over and
over for them to know to ask why?

did I not do
my due diligence

when I left poems
about death
on the dining room table—

is that not loud enough
to warrant a response,
for me to wake up

the next morning
and not find the loose-leaf

to not have to tell myself that
the paper must’ve just blended
into the tablecloth?

If I could, I’d be the one to find
my own body hanging.  I’d
eulogize it, bury it,

because I’ve learned that
the more someone loves
you, the less they want to see.

On Medication

To all my former lovers:
I once romanticized you.

Before, I’d felt such magic
from a toss-and-swallow

that I thought one
pill’s name called out

every nude morning at
my bathroom counter

would teach me trust again—
but I could never finish

and when I told my therapist
that it felt silly to be warned,

If you feel depressed
while on this medication,

it isn’t working,
she laughed,

then sighed,
then said nothing.

Back to Top of Page | Back to Poetry | Back to Volume 14, Issue 3 – September 2020

About the Author

Zach Semel is an M.F.A. candidate in Creative Nonfiction at Northern Arizona University. He is an avid Celtics fan, a wannabe psychoanalyst, and a lover of all things garlicky. Some of his other work has appeared or is forthcoming in Breath & Shadow, Waxing & Waning, the Read650 Jew-ish Anthology, The Nervous Breakdown, and other places.