by Christine Degenaars
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 Lit, Red Paint Hill, Driftwood 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