Christopher Salerno




Victim Impact Statement


1. 89 degrees under partly cloudy skies.

2. I've come home, my street is answering yes to Crack.

3. A rumormonger pokes at a sleeping rat.

4. My street is no longer summering in stippled archipelagoes.

5. I do pity the neighborhood piling ash.

6. If what we get in the end is a child's diorama dropped haphazardly on the sidewalk.

7. Ultimately, a small puddle depends on luck.

8. From overhead, it is possible to address the whole street.

9. Instead of wings, you dream cape.

10. The keynote speaker is a red-shirted kindergartener.

11. Our smokestacks are in peak condition.

12. Here comes the dramatic turn.

13. Sweeping back and forth like a stylus.

12. Any second now the lawnmower catches up to the grasshopper.

11. These days, no one hires a P.I.

10. To watch the day deepen—I found a camera and I'm working backwards.

9. The Salvation Army and the Y stretch everything.

8. In the end the street you can't have.

7. In the end the street was no Electric Avenue, bless my street.

6. The Punks who fuck with the ATM.

5. Appliqué flames crawling up their sleeves.

4. Popping cranberries, optimistic.

3. That an El Camino will come.

2. That they will distinguish El Camino.

1. The light turns green. Dramatic!





Safety Bar


Say nothing rises. A raindrop hits a colored pencil.

What interests me, drawn as a child would draw it:

Who will explain the unwilling nerves, the black tire-scratch?

Blurred weeds in the blurred ditch. Triangle of

surgery zoned for pills. Impossible pulses. Science

hasn't heard the metal speak, nor have we. Dumb, I find out

what evening has to do. Why day limns. How

litter rallies in the wind. In the welter, I pass old women

whistling Country. A rebel cell of Hell's

Angels passes me. I shoot my last water pistol of whiskey.







I trampoline

to an under-heaven


where tipped

in the garden,

the torso of a woman.


A cloud wakes

and urinates.

Birds cheer up

the dry canal

echoing back Verdi

from the flower constructed sirens

of borough air radio

as day samples

you with a bow

    among the weeds.