A Poetry Showcase from Thomas Christopher


Every speeding car is coming to kill. 
You look and look and look and even then
you still can’t change lanes. Your mind a terror 
of what if, wiring wired like a tripwire.
You’re one wrong move, wrong glance, wrong thought 
from being a screeching wreck of bone and steel. 
And the cars keep hurtling, speeding, weaving. 
More projectiles pouring on the highway, 
and when will the crash coming ever end?
Every sequence a siren of nightmares.
You get off on the wrong exit and stop.
Your hands still gripping the wheel. You’re shaking.
Your heart is pounding. This is why your life 
has gone nowhere you wanted it to go.


The sunlight outside was brutal,
a violent glare I wanted to blot out
How dare you? How fucking dare you?
“You have diabetes,” the doctor had said. 
What happened never happened.
Blurry vision, chugging water, 
my blood sugar a lethal 500? 
Stab myself with needles every day?
Denial is a life invisible.
What you can’t see can’t hurt you
until it’s too late,
and your eyes aren’t blurry but blank,
blind to the charred-looking foot being cut off.
I bought a pack of cigarettes 
and smoked in the park.
Not my proudest moment.
An old woman cradled a scraggly dog,
a plastic cone ringing its stupid neck.  


My eyes bulge 
like popping squid eyes.
My head swollen 
like a pumpkin.
My body skinned down to sticks.
Skin peeling off in white flakes,
molting like a lizard.
Fading away inside myself.
A ghost changing shape.
I’m sinking into a hole 
of sheets and pneumonia.
I don’t know who I am.
But I’m alive. I know that.
And strangely peaceful.
My body beats and claws 
against nothing,
yet desperate to save me,
as if it only wants to tear 
me apart from the inside 
and start over again.
But there is no over again.
The window open for flight.
A phantom moving 
outside myself.
Sickness like a ghoul.

Follow Your Heart

Where but the sky to fling our hopeless hearts, 
red bubbles rising far into the blue
until going too high, always too high,
a drop of blood that pops without a sound,
poof, gone, as if no more, but there is more, 
the torn red sack, the split skin, maybe a piece 
of mangled meat falling beyond our sight,
landing in the branches of some distant tree,
hanging from limbs like splats of dripping blood
that don’t drip, red stains that don’t go away,
still wanting what happened of letting go. 
And it’s not the sky we look to anymore
but only to the branches we pass under 
to see some other heart-shreds hanging there.


You are brittle 
autumn leaves, 
broken and crushed 
into pieces, scattered 
like confetti on 
the dead grass,
ready for winter’s 
hand of snow 
to push you back 
into the ground, 
dissolve you away 
into the life of spring,
the life of a flower 
swallowing the sun, 
a life you’ll never see.


You hide your head in
a kaleidoscope 
hole while the wind shreds 
your life like a flag 
in tatters, flapping 
on a forgotten pole.  

Thomas has had work appear in Redivider, The Louisville Review, Hawai'i Pacific Review, The Nassua Review, The MacGuffin, and Crack the Spine.  Thomas lives in Nashville with their two sons.