Alexis Christakes: 2 Poems


the risk of working with something

precious is squandering it;

the risk of working with something

you love is hating it;

and working with something

lukewarm causes stasis.

the danger in working with hate

is deep and wasteful anger, but

there’s certainty in idleness;

it’s uselessness, it’s hopelessness.

such unending humanness

running in our wheels, studying

all the circles (but our own),

and every time that I kneel,

my armored skin peels.

does the fire make me real?


this being alive is not to be

satisfied, but questioned and

quarreled, quibbled and nibbled at

to be kept alive, just to have some fight:

always to continue and never to arrive—

as far as legs will carry then

farther, sputtering on burning vernal

urges to survive. running on fumes

and the backs of good friends,

gassing out, guessing at the black:

still full of questions, maybe more.

I hope more.

put it off; put it off.


There is a humming

inside me, outside me,

enveloping each nerve,

bubbling a light quiet boil

in my strawberry blood.

It’s behind my ear now.

I take the dirt in my hand

like a prayer. I am dirt

recreating itself, tasting

itself, pretending to be

something more, so I am.

My hand moves to my mouth

like an infant’s, and

earthworms marry my

intestines, squirmy-happy-

nesting at my center where I

smell like raspberries,

taste like rum,

and look like a red giant, but

feel sometimes like a black hole.

Alexis Christakes is a nature-inspired poet living in Huntsville, Alabama. She studied horticulture and herbalism in Pennsylvania, and now works at a wine bar, a coffee shop, and doing freelance social media/marketing work. She writes and handmakes miniature books of poetry.

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