Jeffrey Zable


Jeffrey Zable (San Francisco, CA)


Yes, I understand how you can knock a glass of water

onto the floor and feel like committing suicide.


It’s not the water, the mop, the broom, and the dustpan

you’ll have to use to clean up the mess.

It’s that it all reminds you of your life:

How tired you are of the struggle.

How you’re just going to die anyway.


And while cleaning up the mess you think about all your relatives,

friends and acquaintances who are now gone.

Even your favorite writers, artists, and movie actors

who are now just names.


It comes as a shock, as if realizing for the first time:

every life, no matter who you are, comes to a conclusion.


You consider turning on the television, reading a book,

or taking a walk in the neighborhood,

but realize it won’t make any difference.


You’ve spent your life trying not to think about

what has always been with you side by side.


You pour yourself another glass of water

and hold it carefully in your hand,

wondering how you got this far. . .


how much further you have to go. . .




*First appeared in Third Wednesday, 2015


Cable.picJeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro Cuban Folkloric music for dance classes and Rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. Recent writing in Dime Show Review, Drunken Llama, Jokes Review, Third Wednesday, Futures Trading, Colloquial, Brickplight, Tigershark, First Literary Review, and many others.