Arts & Culture » Culture

Would you like more?


Parking in Chinatown
You parked it in a nosedive on the steep
and shadowed hill, the curb-ward facing wheels
pathetic safeguards for your brokedown heap,
where strips of ceiling cloth like sunk kite tails
went riffled by the window breeze—it wouldn't last,
my body turned contortionist to sit
astride your lap, the steering column pressed
against my spine. No hope was left and yet
I went on loving anyway: your sweet
earth-mingled scent, your red shirt dulled from work and sun,
your heavy eyes, their distant stars. As streets
fell dark, we walked past gold-lit doorways hung
with other passing things: paper lanterns, tarnished rings
a cardboard box that opened to let something sing.
—Christina Kallery


O, obbligato

hole of the chain

bent ove

stone floor



in the half-light

of consent


I confess I've erased the voice
that accompanies this performance
frozen on the old frame

50 years hence a gang of girls
waits to pounce on me as if text

were flesh
sexual fix holding a pose
—crow tree downward facing dog—
prone to S/M hanky codes:
blue on top red under green means harder

to whip this script into mutuality
leather lulus, novice all
learning to switch and shout

"Cat got your tongue?"

fling your curse
clip chains & pegs
into the erotic oubliettes

their cutting ends
nothing more than traces
of the prisoner's endless night
—Chris Tysh


Bare Sunday Rituals
An uninterrupted evening in –
starts with the fireplace:
two cherubs under the mantel,
cement beneath the grate.

Background music, slow tension,
slurring the words, but I mean
what I say.

You spy the butler's pantry –
lined with heavy tumblers,
empty bottles,
pretty, useless.

I wear this drinking dress
from my grandmother's closet,
a silver buttoned shift over flesh-
toned stockings,
criss/crossed legs.

Is there anything left in the shaker?

Another week's end with you,
three cigarettes,
the Final Decca Sessions,
thighs on the couch arm.

we'll have cake for dunking and other
clotting joys that splash sweet in the mouth
while rotting the heart.

A few cubes clatter/ clink
4:00 pm gin and tonic Sunday.
Cut glass for a clear note.

Would you like more?

A French door opening
into a plantation
shuttered sun room.

Room enough for a mottled vase,
velvet inseam, black pumps over
pale feet.
— Vievee Francis

Christina Kallery, Vievee Francis and Chris Tysh are Detroit-area poets. Tysh’s poem is from her new book, Cleavage (Roof Books, $11.95). Send comments to [email protected]

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