Wheels 

I remember feeling, 

long ago, 

some of that 

derisory 

teenage anguish— 

as if I fell to my feet, 

warlike music all around. 

Now I’m in the car, 

my arm 

outstretched, in the blustery weather, 

remarkably euphoric 

and roaring into downtown, 

torn apart and put back together 

then torn apart again and hollowed out— 

shifting, collapsing 

and making myself 

a fireside inside the frame. 

There is something about this ride, 

the way the air floods and encircles, 

breezes through 

the vents and sockets. 

Passengers unaware 

as they set up house around me, 

snuggling into coats 

and abandoning old customs. 

We all hear the music now, 

so I strum my fist a piece 

because all that exists, 

whether reminiscences 

or the earth itself, 

will eventually not be, 

and because I cannot rest 

under these stars above the hood. 

Not even in remembrance. 


What Bird are You? 

A Brown Thrasher is trying to build a nest 

on what remains 

of the broken light fixture on our back porch. 

She ignores an angry family of Blue Jays 

picking a fight in a bush nearby. 

It’s just after Easter, 

so she gathers shreds of sparkly green tinsel 

from the neighbor’s trash bin 

and tries to carefully drape each strand 

over the inch of iron 

jutting out from the brick. 

Hours into her quest, 

and she doesn’t seem to mind 

when nothing sticks 

or when moss and leaves 

gather in a mound beneath her. 

If I were a bird, 

I would hang out in a line 

on one of those signs stretching over the highway, 

chatting in my ancient bird language, 

honking with the cars racing below me. 

To stay dry, 

I would sit in the corner during a rainstorm, 

where signpost meets steel bar, 

and build my beautiful nest on the streetlight 

near the overpass 

so everyone would see 

I’d stare back 

into a cat’s yellow eyes 

as it digs its nails 

crossly into the ground 

because within me 

are hopeful monsters— 

Tetanurae 

Coelurosauria 

Paraves 

Tommy’s Thrush 

would have nothing on my song. 

Percy’s Skylark 

would pale before my soar. 


Christi Gravett (38) is a queer, non-binary professor from Little Rock, Arkansas. They’ve taught both Rhetoric and Creative Writing at the college level for 12 years. Christi has had non-fiction, poetry and photography published in various independent and small-press publications, and currently has a chapbook of 20 poems, titled “We Monsters”, available on Amazon. Their work provides glimpses into larger stories, focusing on single striking moments of happiness or discovery, unsaturated by heavy meaning.

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