The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Christos Kalli

Dry Humming


April is a crewel embroidered month,
stockpiling dusk on sky, stitching

home-made dust on tapestry,
gluing sunflowers on dry ground.

I swear Grandma is a human
prayer-jukebox. I say stay

the night to lullaby me
to sleep. I say leave

the watermelon stain
on your garlic-white dress

until rain strips it off.
The stain, not the dress.

The balm, not the bomb
growing in your backyard.

Charred barbed wire
braceleted to remember.

Price-tagged flag waving
in a cracked vase.

Selling evening
in a tall ice-cubed glass.

Paper wings
glazed in wax.

The tin house
is a supine man,

flat and shadowed
by his father.

His father was lost
and found in a mirror.

His Grandma has parted
a chicken in two.

Violence sounds
like a violin.

Sounds of
bread and olive fed

on rusted

Soil lost in the Spring
someone forgot

to needle
inside that year.

Grandma running out
of thread

sowing flying birds
back on the sky,

sowing slowly
roots beneath the house,

turning tin into iron
with bricks.

Uses her lips
to forge words

that will be remembered
as never forgotten.



Christos Kalli

Mist Behave


Something is broken in here and I dart inside
like a pill. You are there, still
and still alive, sitting in your chair
in your cigarette-white dress, with a red-eye fly
on your lap, as you turn to language your emotions
in a misbehaving breath-beat. Everything seems
like a remnant of something else. Everything is
like the pieces of ripe watermelon
spilling from your chin. Your eyes seek any leftover
darkness of the summer night and find nothing
but early-morning mist ploughing the street. Now,
night-less, the room is a makeshift eulogy and the house
is swallowed by a palm’s worth of cloud.
You, remnant of a scream, cover the toothmarks
made by the night on your neck
with the hem of your dress. I, a vestige of a different
morning-kiss, dart outside to part the mist
and become a part of it.




CHRISTOS KALLI, born in Cyprus, is an undergraduate student in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. His poems can be found / are forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, the minnesota review, Oxford Magazine, The Maine Review, Hobart, among others. He is currently a Poetry Reader for The Adroit Journal.



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