Two Poems

Two Poems

by Christine Degenaars


a song

her mouth was like rain on hot

pavement; her body trebled

with fervid frequency; she

poured out sound so near your own

name and did without trying; 

she loved the men who looked for

her, loves the ones that didn’t, 

their lips, lined up like unstemmed

minims, she threaded them when

the moon’s lap was full of Venus; 

then that once she let a smile

loose without looking up—

remember it, it was still

only the start of October




Through Parsecs and Dark Matter


he speaks my name like an echo

as if he is using my own voice

to call back to me from across

a great divide. A pillowlength, 


it seems, becomes a whole universe

and its stars span the sheets and talk in terms

of radio waves, eternity. The night takes

to its shape, expanding like water


in a smooth dish. It fills me and holds me

cemented in a ruse of contrived timelessness.

Even if we were to spill out of ourselves

again, I don’t think I would hear him


through the evening. 


He is mine

only in the ways he isn’t and in the ways

he appears as myself in the morning.

It makes me old to see him like this, existing

as my double—separated as if through a mirror,


near-smiling and standing in 501 Levi’s.

A small mass of atoms and unbrushed teeth,

he orbits around how he wants to be seen

and how I see him. He is an also-aging


imitation of what I must look like

as I wane into him. I am suddenly made

aware of this time dilation, this third person

in the room that has been sitting so quietly 


and for so long we had forgotten her in her silence.

She is still dressed in dark, despite the day. So strange

to see her, like turning too quickly and catching

a piece of my hair in sideview—a whimsical slipup 


of wisp and impermanence. Softly, she prods us

and we wake for a second time like children from sleep. 

It is through her we are spread open once more, 

a coupling of colliding galaxies


resembling my own body thrown apart

by time passing. 



Christine Degenaars' poems have appeared in several publications including Sundog LitRed Paint HillDriftwood Press, and Hermeneutic Chaos. She is the recipient of two Bishop-Kelleher awards and an honorable mention for the Bennington Award. She currently lives in New York City.


Original Artwork by Allie Ward