h o m e........
p a s t   i s s u e s....
s u b m i s s i o n s....
l i n k s

 

 

.........
CHRISTOPHER CITRO



...........
A MUD PUDDLE SHAPED MUD PUDDLE


  

I waited for the stars to drop down,
a handful at least—is that too much to ask—
and spin a slight constellation in front of me.
I waited a long time. I'm still waiting.
Is it too much to ask for a willow to stop
its weeping when I float underneath
in my canoe with my incredibly fragile
happiness hanging out on the end of my
face for anyone to crush? Even a tree
that can't get its act together as a species.
I don't know about you people but I'm
tired of deciding what to do all the time.
Part of me wishes the anti free will folks
were right after all. I don't know about you,
but I know for a fact that I'm often about
twenty feet tall. I don't care what my
bones and muscles have to say about it.
There are summer nights I can stand
in the backyard and see right above
the cottonwoods. I can lean an elbow
on the power towers, feel constellations
in my hair stop spinning enough to pull
strands clean in their small wet mouths.

 





...........

LUNCH HOUR IS AN HOUR OF OUR LIVES

  

When pouring out something good—
or ladling—we say Say when. When
it's time to turn the calendar another page.
The jet plane growls overhead full
of people who know how to say when.
Goodbye. It took almost an hour
for our Laotian food to arrive.
Me sweating beneath the embroidered
elephants. Outside the farmers market
burning like a needle in a peony,
the homeless booted from their park
for the afternoon, left standing on
the outskirts staring at normal life
and vegetables. The Elvis impersonator
puffed one rousing rendition of Viva
Las Vegas. We found ourselves
actually feeling keyed up. In Vegas
the drinks, as the fairy stories go,
are free. You never have to say when.
Like origami swans, we fold that idea
away inside ourselves and walk back
to the office, fingers sticky with lemon ices.


 




...........

THE STARS ARE OUT AND THEY'RE TRYING TO GET YOUR ATTENTION
   

At a loss and sensing something's missing,
you try the living area to see if that might help.
But walking into a room will get you nowhere,
except into that room. Turning on the light
will excite little except a few electrons
(if they still exist anymore—it's hard to keep track).
Standing in a creek of rushing particles, now what
are you going to do with yourself? A hawk shrieks
a half mile above your head, but due to a roof,
the attic, your grandmother's dining room set up there,
you cannot hear. There are hawks screaming at you
repeatedly these days. It's as if you've a dining room set
permanently strapped to the top of your head.
Reaching for a banana in the market, its legs
nearly tumble a tangelo pyramid. Sensing this
you turn to try to avoid a situation, strewing
a Pluot display across the shadowless floor.
One rolls behind the Fla-Vor-Ice, coming to rest
at the feet of a small boy. With one eye on you,
he reaches with his left hand for the purple fruit.
You watch him watching you. Then his shoes light up
with twinkling little stars.


 




...........  

BIO: Christopher Citro is the author of The Maintenance of the Shimmy-Shammy (Steel Toe Books, 2015). He won the 2015 Poetry Competition at Columbia Journal, and his poetry appears in Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, Best New Poets 2014, Sixth Finch, Rattle, and Poetry Northwest. His nonfiction appears in Boulevard and Colorado Review.

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