diode v9n1




Most nights the surface is calm.  The undertow
of sleep drags along, pulling you deep into imagined
worry, your vision of  me on the shore just about gone
and long before you rise, your anger will surface. 

Your brow furrows a little more. 
I cannot find the rope to pull you in.
With your fish-scale thin skin sanded rough
by the bottom, your bones brittle fish bones,
and your muscles tense with the vengeance of Ahab,
you rarely fight the undertow; the current
under a current takes exactly what it wants,
and offers nothing in return.



I am the thought you're not thinking, the one that isn’t out
of reach but keeps getting pushed back for a lust of things
attainable and uncomplicated as the waitress at your favorite
breakfast joint, paying the rent instead of the mortgage,
chopping firewood.

I am the thought that seeds your subconscious, that blooms
behind the nightmare where you can’t save your brother
from peril, that pushes its roots through the dark basement
of childhood that refuses to die.  In the morning, you feel
like something is missing.

I am the thought that won’t open in your being, that you
don’t believe in, that has become a closed doorway in you
through which you must pass to find out who you are. 


Christine E. Salvatore received her MFA from The University of New Orleans.  She currently teaches literature and creative writing at Stockton University, in the MFA Program at Rosemont College, and at Egg Harbor Township High School. She is a Geraldine R. Dodge Poet and a regular faculty member for Murphy Writing Seminars.  Her poetry has recently appeared or will appear in The FemThe Literary Review, The Cortland Review, Mead Journal, as well as others.