“[Utility] ZI” by Gregory Kimbrell

In the coldest lunar month
in the red zone, I stay in

the unmanned air intake. I
love the way winter moonlight

crawls on the stone-white beach and
scratches the sea of ice. I

can sleep and cheat pain. The mold
particles, like tobacco,

whisper in the night about
possibility. In one

dream, I saw Ongen, the dog
man. His blue-black hair, his hard

yellow teeth. He melted in
my throat. Yes, I love a man

in a dream. When I speak of
his warm shadow, the tears in

my tired, red eyes fall. In the
dark, I pull off my dog face

and destroy it. Avoiding
people is not a blessing.


Gregory Kimbrell is the author of The Primitive Observatory (Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), winner of the 2014 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Manticore—Hybrid Writing from Hybrid Identities, Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry, Alcyone, and elsewhere. He is the events and programs coordinator for Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries. More of his writing, including his magnetic sci-fi/horror haiku, can be found at gregorykimbrell.com.