Two Poems
by CHRISTINA MATTHEWS



Oxford Shirt

You’ve been whaling around in me too long,
sloughing off skin in my cotton, sewing on extra
grief pockets, more than I can carry. 

Always shrinking in the dryer, tightening,
tensing on your body the way muscles do,
all wad and knot, I flap free in an idling breeze,
shimmy on the clothesline to shake loose your stiff silhouette.

Fixed on the view beyond your work you stare
and stare—a lovely blank— at my shade of white.
Do you see beyond the window, beyond me?
The wild oaks, how they toss their panicky leaves
up and through the very space which threatens them?

How even in this fog with its imperceptible choke,
the thin branches struggle against the unseen?

Do you feel the whispered urgency between us,
when once again, here we are, swatting at heaven?



The New World Bird of Prey

I came into this life on a bed of twigs—wound together—a strange circular bowl. I broke through one roundness and found myself another. I did not know it, not even now, feeding on flat
rot cracked open before me. I am not so far from you, eating death one place and the next.  In a land all motion, motion, I will not dare to understand. Your heavens always escape me. (Same with all the little human hells). Flying above or below the oak trees, I cannot see their tired branches folding over hope. I do not name such things. What is nameless, is always worth song.


CHRISTINA MATTHEWS currently resides in Macon, Georgia, by way of Syracuse, New York. She teaches English Composition and Creative Writing courses at a local university.  Her work has previously been published in numerous literary journals and magazines.