Chris Souza

by Chris Souza

The old bridge endures in this new shade
of blue, a stolid Prussian against the small
of dusk’s pink light, a moment steeping now
beneath cloud cover and heart, the latter
where a moment becomes a thing itself, feathered

and hovering— or you, who wore a wooly coat
that day a March storm nearly ruined our plans.
You stood outside the car, waiting, looking
like a grainy photograph for all that snow
coming down. We’ll be fine, you said.

That’s what dead people always say, I whined.
The party was lovely; we stayed the night,
my head on your chest listening in the wrong
direction as clouds formed inside you, interstitial,
alveoli, galaxies contracting.

Weekly rides across the bridge for treatment:
a season measured in poisons and prayer until
I drove home alone stinging for all of us I wasted,
all the heavy snows and no’s you waited through
as I pondered Leda from the fortress of a classroom.

Now I wait everywhere I go, like tonight along
this bridge where what’s taken you glides somewhere
above the genies of exhaust from idling cars,
above the dual arcs’ dispassionate arrows
and the stars with their rotted teeth.

Now I’d welcome a sudden blow,
to be taken by the nape of the neck,
to be caught up and frightened
against that massive breast—
and ready to play a living part.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 4.

A poet and prose writer, Chris Souza holds an MA from Boston University and lives in Massachusetts. Previous publications include Gulf Coast, Bellingham Review, New Delta Review, West Branch, Baltimore Review, Sycamore Review, and Poet Lore, among others. Her work has been featured on “Verse Daily” and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Work is forthcoming in Common Ground Review and Confrontation.

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