Christopher Salerno


It starts with your name, singular and slow.
Last summer I had two lovers. I sped them through
sharp weather like disaster until
every naked bulb blew. Then nothing worked.
Not the names of flowers, not the unexposed
film in the drawer.
Don’t make me think of what I woke.
I confess to getting wings and, in the middle
of my life, hunting in an aviary.
I had become invisible, and a terrible shot. I had to
outbreathe something,
bury its song. Ammons wrote that birds’ bones
make no awful noise against the light. It is a fact
that I opened the earth, put my hand
in the hole. I forget how many times.

Christopher Salerno’s books of poems include Minimum Heroic and Whirligig. He's an Assistant Professor of English at William Paterson University of New Jersey.