Breathe easy, Zorba. The hair. My strand is black.
They will send you my blood in a vial. Two vials,
with the narrow lavender stopper, the wider flesh
colored stopper. In a mannequin’s vein.

They will send you my carcinogen glove,
wrapped in a cadaver. In actuality, wrapped
like a fish, head first. You will apply an adhesive
to a strip of fabric from an embroidered bodice.
In a practical box. A pair of pinking shears.

Whether the scented note paper. Whether the wax
seal, the itemized invoice, the stamp, which will feature
the Kennedy children. Whether the stopper will.


When I tried to cover the hair with pancake, Zorba
intercepted. She patted down the razor blade. The laugh.
Later, Zorba, her own blade in hand. Her brittle.

She put pantyhose over her athletic shorts. And a skirt
over that. I did the same. A porcelain crematorium
over my house. And invited her for tea. For symptomatic.

Even now, on the thirtieth, I have a little down. I have
a facial bleeder.

A Parsimonious Holiday

At the Mexican restaurant, Zorba wanted the kitten. A scar
I got, a parsing. Zorba wanted the leather stitching from
the waitress’s apron. A task. A golden egg, a species feather.
The mango in the harlot’s locket, or so he called it, running
his finger around the ridge. The fool-cramp.

The tooth of a jimmied lock. I crossed the carpet, and smoothed
its tussled furs. In the closet. A determined gray stiletto
The hangers were hooked to the bar, the rungs to the pants
by a series of pins through which one could look, could squint.
Safely. A series of animals. A tumescent processional.

But they had already gathered us in the amphitheatre, for a live
performance of the 911 call. They said, “great reviews.” Said,
“present company excluded,” while Zorba referred to his program.

A Second Opinion is Sought

In earnest, the quack examined me. In his physician’s parlor,
and Zorba came for the up and up. The tiger skin rug. A lazy
sheet revealed a cream-laden upholstery. A crescent shape.
The quack gave me a position, in which I got on the slab.

Zorba had his penis by the throat. The count was in. The numberer.He had a vase of predicates. Zorba slipped these into her pocket.
She took a tongue depressor when he turned his back. To read me.
To angle my knee into my chest. A stork in relief. Zorba agreed.

And then the quack was singing. His lip was wet with woe betide.
Zorba took her breast out of its sling. She offered me the room key.
She offered me a trade. And he said to wait five months. And
we all agreed. The register of good health stamped our hands.
Our waterlogged and vacant tempers.




apocryphaltext Vol. 2, No. 1

4 poems by danielle pafunda

Danielle Pafunda is author of Pretty Young Thing (Soft Skull 2005).  Her second manuscript My Zorba has been a finalist for the Juniper Poetry Prize and Four Way Books's Levis Poetry Prize.  Poems are forthcoming in such publications as Best American Poetry 2006, Black Clock, Denver Quarterly, and jubilat.  She's co-editor of the online journal La Petite Zine, and 2005/2006 assistant to the editors at The Georgia Review.  She will spend 2006/2007 with her partner and daughter in Valdivia Chile.