Featured in Colorado Review
Backward-Spreading BrightnessFeatured, Poetry
Published Fall 2013
Clear enough to see you christen or condemn another
on the side of a beige building, I take the boat out
of the body that returns itself to me. I don’t even
remember the stupid thing it did or why I wanted it
gone. The lake is here so I take it through the city.
The city is here so I take it through the lake, open it
into line. I clap two ends of the book shut. It read
their hands flew up in surprise. It told me to stop reading
music into things already music, already in the shape
of reaching up to anoint or catch falling. It held me
atop the water that wasn’t there. Only ruminant.
Only I can’t tell which stomach is snow and which
is the sun that melts it backward into puddle. Tiles
on the underside of the boat. I bend over to book
fanning open in the slow current, reflecting where
the scene turns silt in color then bright where people
live. They’re so small I can only imagine what they do.
Christopher Kondrich is the author of Contrapuntal (Parlor Press, 2013). New poems also appear or are forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, Boston Review, Guernica, Jerry, the Paris-American, and Washington Square. A recent winner of the Paris-American Reading Series Contest, he is a PhD candidate at the University of Denver and an editor for Denver Quarterly.