“Pushing Through the Cheap Crystals To Get at the Good Stuff” By Christopher Citro

"Bluebird Trouble" by Kelly Caldwell / @kellycalledwell

. . . a new winter twilight creeps into place. And a lot of guys just kind of live through it?

—John Ashbery, “The Bobinski Brothers”

First the storms come through. They thrash the pines but that’s alright. We sit inside eating warm chestnuts and scotch, and as I say it was alright.

And then the shutters that are only there for show started humming, sounded like drones hovering outside our windows. That was less alright.

I walked outside alone at 2 a.m. to, well, look for drones.

Yes, I asked myself the really difficult questions, such as, are you really doing what you appear to be doing?

Up at our bedroom window nothing but the cold air of the sleeping planet. Inside my parka a little man with big skies inside his throbbing head. Some of what flies there is bluebirds, some trouble.


Christopher Citro is the author of The Maintenance of the Shimmy-Shammy (Steel Toe Books). His awards include a 2019 fellowship from Ragdale Foundation, a 2018 Pushcart Prize for Poetry, and the 2015 poetry award from Columbia Journal. Recent and upcoming publications include poetry in Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, The Missouri Review, Gulf Coast, The Iowa Review blog, and elsewhere. His creative nonfiction has appeared in Boulevard, Quarterly West, The Florida Review, Essay Daily, Passages North, and Colorado Review. Christopher is the poetry editor for decomP. He teaches creative writing at SUNY Oswego and lives in Syracuse, New York.