Renewing the vows/ thomas zimmerman

So John Lee Hooker’s singing: bourbon, scotch,

and beer. He wants to get drunk, get her

off his mind. I’m sipping water, neat.

When you come back, it’s just as Emily says:

wild nights and luxury. A dog-yelp down

the block, and bird-squawks in the dimming trees.

The day’s been mist, and dark’s an hour off.

Could call it haunted: office loft a moldered

turret, I a patriarch of poltergeists.

More likely I’m the luckless guest, fat hands

and nervous sweat, a groom splayed face-down on

the altar, monk gone barking mad. I need

you now, the attic’s sour pall your veil,

to set the place ablaze, to say, “I do.”

Thomas Zimmerman teaches English, directs the Writing Center, and edits The Big Windows Review at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His poems have appeared recently in Rasputin: A Poetry ThreadLittle Rose Magazine, and Furtive Dalliance. Tom's website: