17: Acrostic
by Joanie HF Zosike

Smashing boulders, breaking icons, she redefined the crevasse between
Evil and good. Not one of those giggly, silly girls; she pondered mortal
Venal sin, her Jewess-self raging at the iron maiden of low-c catholic
Easy was a realm she never visited. Passion whipped her skin, an icy
Nights were mortal wounds; she longed for a special somewhom.
Taken by the throat, her innocence was shaken into shackles at her
Even after this assault, she didn’t weep, rather, she sang, and infused her
Eagerness and terror into one lurid portrait of bravado in shiny red
Nonchalantly, she wove a pyretic cloak of intellect and sexy indifference.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me, at age 17, having learned that being all that isn’t all that. Here I’m appearing in Mozart’s first opera, Bastien and Bastienne, with Joey Block as “Bastien.” (Young People’s Opera Association, Culver City, California).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joanie HF Zosike’s poem, “Cross Jesse,” recently appeared in Bastille No. 3, published in Paris. Her work also appears in Silver Birch Press Summer, Noir Erasure, Alice in Wonderland, and  The Great Gatsby anthologies. A chapbook, Bliss, Not Weight, is one of 15 chapbooks published in Silver Birch Press Ides Anthology, and an earlier chapbook, The Character Poems, was published by Chez Chez. Other publications appear in At the Edge, Counterclock (Germany), Dissident Voice, Heresies, Jewish Forward, Levure Literraire (France), Maintenant Vols. 5-10 (Three Rooms Press), Public Illuminations Magazine (PIM) “Fortune” and “Flesh” issues, and Rabbit and Rose, among others. She is also an actor, singer, director, workshop presenter, and caregiver.