Winter 2023 • Vol. XLV No. 1 Poetry |

Helen of Troy in February

do i love him? who, the big cheese? enough to be stood here in this walgreens with his gut pills in my purse and the baby slung on my chest, with bing crosby piped through the speakers and the slip-choke of pink and red and puff snowed in on every shelf, cards like you wouldn’t believe, my honey bear, my shining star. his name’s on the mortgage. on the title to the car. at night he says what did you do today helen and listens, i mean really listens, when i say well i changed the baby and took the car through the wash, all those words straight and tidy, little soldiers on the march, my mouth to that baking marsh of his insides where crooked things lie down and begin to sink. i give him arrows. my lover, hearts and kisses, silk petals in the centerfold, one- ninety-nine before tax. envelope like fogged glass. line at the register snaking nearly to the exit sign, where sliding doors roar open to the snow.

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Photo of Maria Zoccola
Maria Zoccola is a queer Southern writer with deep roots in the Mississippi Delta. She has writing degrees from Emory University and Falmouth University. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, The Cincinnati Review, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere.

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