by C.C. Russell


This poem is a series of static, a hallway lined
with televisions tuned
to the snow
in various permutations.
This poem is
the moment when an image
comes through.
This poem is a glimmer
of a face
calling to you
from that summer
in your life – that one summer
that everyone has.
This poem is just that universal,
is a specific and potent combination
of fear and hope.
This poem is you
in the middle of
that hallway
in the middle
of your life.
This poem is what that
is making you feel.


Stippled Light on the Borders of Revenge 

The words escaped
your mouth –
a scattering of steam.

Mistakes redeemed
too late.


Neighborly conversations on a porch.

Spring evening softens
the echoes of voices
through the street
and for that moment alone,
no one cares

just what is being spoken,

what small angels of pain
have been released.


What We Are Given

Today in a wind shorn off
from a coming December,
one leaf fallen –
tropical in its size.

I bring it in to you after a cigarette,

present it with pomp –
the circumstances of how we are

simple moments of awe
at everything
that surrounds us.


I Take Hold of Your Thin Fingers

I find myself
an outcast among shadows,

more haunted
than hunted.

Here, in the ruins of the tower,
we communicate
in the only way
we have found.

We reach out
and we touch.

We touch
and we run



Image: Painting by Steve Johnson. Find more of his work on Instagram @artbystevej.