when my mother brought me into this world
she tells me that the doctor had to catch me,
that i was delicate enough to have almost
slipped between the first set of hands
to have ever held me.
the nurse says my name in one weightless breath,
a single syllable benched off her tongue
and i can’t even open my eyes yet.
i don’t remember being easy to carry,
to be picked up under arms, from
private school curbs, and wildflower meadows.
to sit at the bottom of the neighbor’s pool,
break my record of holding my breath
and hear the white noise
symphony raise their flutes.
to grow up breathing in helium, to float,
let gravity take me before the winters do,
and even at twenty, i have yet to find hands
balanced enough to catch all my delicate again,
brave enough to stop my swaying, vacant fingers
to save me from my exile,

or bring me back down


it is spring that borrows my burdens,
she carries my anxious before
the phone call to my mother,

and the decibels decrease,

no longer are the midnights
of dark corners and raw
wiped cheeks,
no longer are the swollen lungs
and tea bags under my eyes,
passionfruit tears unsweetened,
no longer are the bus rides back
with eyes closed and trying
to keep busy

it is summer that brings back my color,
the dry heat is a luxury to me,
the moon rises and falls with my chest,
slow and at the same pace,

i crave the days home didn’t
have to be 134 miles away,
where growing pains became
much more manageable,
the days where comfortable
was never tampered with,
the days where i snuck into
the auditorium to play piano,
the weighted keys and tighten strings hold me
and i make a promise to never become a stranger,
i broke my fingers while crossing them
that i never have to leave this place

ZANE FREDERICK is a city born Gemini, raised in the hell and heart of Phoenix, Arizona. His work has been published in Little Rose Magazine, Dodging The Rain, and The Tunnels. He currently attends Northern Arizona University and when not writing, he plays guitar, piano, and delves into art history books. Zane published his debut poetry book, (he)art., in 2018.