Spring 2011, Volume 10

Poetry by Christina M. Rau


I am the retreat for broken–
hearted men.  They line up
single-file, newly single,
clenching their jaws to hold
back tears, turning all that
hurt into new lust for anything
standing before them.
I accept them, every one,
one at a time, or two,
store their carry–ons under
couches, desks, beds,
stow their trunks in the crowded
basement, packed garage,
wash their soiled clothes,
let them eat from my pantry,
let them run through my rooms,
let them fix whatever needs fixing
while I fill what’s missing in them.
Male muscle has thicker fiber.
Their wealth of testosterone and
white blood cells work more quickly,
so when the men bounce up and back
ready to strap on a new small backpack
and face the world alone, a new burst of air,
I remain the dilapidated cabin forever in disrepair
in the woods, a castle of seclusion,
a solemn temporary getaway
stark in straw and twigs in a forever almost winter.
My hands can’t seem to warm up enough in time
to hold one before the next rings the bell for service.



BIO: Christina M. Rau is a professor of English at Nassau Community College and the founder of Poets In Nassau, a reading circuit on Long Island, NY. Her poetry most recently appeared in Dark Sky Magazine and River Poets Journal , and she is the guest co-editor of the forthcoming 2011 Long Island Sounds Anthology. She loves moonbeams, puppies, and of course, sarcasm.