Christopher Citro

The Body the Fact of It

One drop of light caught in the fuzz
of a bee's back. The sun's in there.
The bee flies off with it. A spider
crushed against the white plastic
chaise lounge right where our skull
goes. My head lifts to images
Titan sent back: only photos of
a planetary mass past Mars. Rocks,

you say. It's rocks out to the distance.
And though they're methane ice and
the dark soil an organic soup of ethane,
it does look like Arizona to me, too,
stretch of desert, the side of a highway,
too dry to grow anything, too flat
to press a seed into anyone's brain
to think gas station or tourist resort.
Our sun each day warms those rocks
several inches in from the surface.
Further than that, at the hard center,
you and I, nothing can get at us.



Great the Light Failing Again

I know it's the start of a new day.
I want to look out the bedroom window
and see the front yard trees dark again.
Those three bushes look like people
huddling together talking. Are you
really going to put leftover couscous
into that leftover chicken soup? I think
the fever has affected your brain.
Explain to me again it's just pasta,
tiny gravel made of wheat can float.
I learn something every day. I forget
it again. I get to learn it again.
A light switch breaks but we keep
flicking the lever with warm fingers.
Our whole life fits in this house plus
vacations, trips to the park to walk
the lake. The doctor's office. The
grocery store. Since you were asleep
I want to let you know I bought one
of those tiny eggplants again—
the vegetable that feels the most
like a human body—it looked
so beautiful there, like an egg
for something better than a bird.



Christopher Citro is the author of If We Had a Lemon We'd Throw It and Call That the Sun (Elixir Press, 2021), winner of the 2019 Antivenom Poetry Award, and The Maintenance of the Shimmy-Shammy (Steel Toe Books, 2015). His honors include a 2018 Pushcart Prize for poetry, a 2019 fellowship from the Ragdale Foundation, Columbia Journal's poetry award, and a creative nonfiction award from The Florida Review. His poetry appears in 32 Poems, Alaska Quarterly Review, American Poetry Review, Best New Poets, Conduit, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Diode, Fugue, Gulf Coast, Iowa Review, Narrative, Pleiades, Ploughshares, Poetry Daily, West Branch, and elsewhere. Christopher is an Editorial Assistant for Seneca Review and lives in Syracuse, New York.