Christy Prahl


April Thaw

When the frost broke
so did my body.
You took tweezers to the tick in my shoulder
and now my hips predict when rain is coming.
My mother has moved far away.
I can’t picture her face anymore
from memory.
My dearest and I are fighting again.
The wood was improperly stacked for next winter.
My friendships don’t stick.
My lungs have gone asthmatic with worry
for the world,
for myself.
I am quietly selfish.
When I talk to you of bigotry and the extinction of the bees,
I’m distracted by lost combs and grocery lists,
the ways I’ve been disappointed by people
and disappointed them back.
The boy at my office
who thinks first of the world
“Where can I put my body so it does no harm?”
There is no punchline to this riddle.
you sweet idiot,
bodies do harm.
Flesh and bones are thick at this party.
A television screen eternally on,
the only way to chime music into the room
in this age of cluttered information.
I’ve lost you, dear one, in the crowd.
You can breathe again in the distance,
I suspect.
I hear you laughing but can’t find your hat.
And I’ve run out of words to shout
at these kind people I barely know.
I smile and I drink.
And somewhere from this rat king of arms intertwined
comes your hand.
I can distinguish it from the other hands.
This is a hand that I know.
“I’m ready to head home early,” you say.
And I read this as the most profound act of love.

CHRISTY PRAHL is a poet of a certain age, foraging enthusiast, occasional insomniac, and philanthropy professional. She is currently compiling and editing A Construction of Cranes (Plastic Flame Press, scheduled June 2020), a collection of work by individuals associated with the PRF, a national DIY arts and music collective. She lives in Chicago with her husband and plain brown dog. Her poetry has appeared in Cathexis Northwest Press and the Blue Mountain Review.