Chill of late-summer storms ripples from
a paralleled creek. Vermicular shadows—
elms and cottonwoods—stream-seep.
So, piecemeal, the ebony-gleam
of a cast iron pan comes to me.
An incident from childhood—one of those charged,
ferocious spats between my father and a lover-
friend. So that, the lithe and clamped-lipped
child is conjured, again: ducked spectator,
inconsequential and hardly noticed.
(Or so I’ve always assumed.)
What my father yelled from the living room,
after hurling a skillet through a window
at his lover’s well-groomed pate.
Seven? Nine? Eight?
Ragged line of the scudding pan through fallen blossoms brings
a lost summer’s light, the lilacs’ shade and an emptiness
back to me, now—how it just remained there
for the rest of the day, unclaimed.
Its absence, the following morning:
the familiar feeling this drew: someone
shutting a door, drawing a blind.
Trees are left behind, as the car picks up speed.
Sere rift, valley—piñon-and-juniper-pocked,
fanning out before me.
Though his roots are in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Chris spent his first years in Mexico City. After graduating from St. John’s College, he studied classics at post-graduate level, before moving to Barcelona’s gothic quarter, where he wrote and made organic olive oil in the countryside of Tarragona. Both of his sons were born in Barcelona to his British wife. He completed an MA in Creative Writing at Middlesex University (UK) in 2007. And since moving back to Santa Fe, in 2013, he has dedicated himself to writing poetry, having published in the Malpais Review, Pasatiempo, Silver Needle Press, Cathexis Northwest and Cagibi. He also volunteers as a translator for Somos Un Pueblo Unido and Santa Fe Dreamers Project, as well as serving on the board of Santa Fe Pro Musica and the development committee of the Rio Grande Mindfulness Institute.
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