November 2001

Chris Featherman


Chris Featherman teaches in the ESL/Adult Continuing Education program at LaGuardia Community College in New York City. His work has appeared in the The Ledge. Recently, he completed his first full-length collection of poems, Radiográphica, from which this poem is taken. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Confession of the Bolivian Who Slept   
on Train Station Floors

           —in translation

after Magritte's "The Menaced Assassin"

When I climbed out of her mouth, bloody
with darkness, the record was still spinning,
the needle stuck on a troubadour's croon,
"You are so, you are so." Over the floor,

frozen as an arctic railyard, fell shadows
long as a hair left on her borrowed coat.
Who waited in bowlers for the vendor
to open shop and let news happen in ink

as the littered shadows of passengers
leapt and bent like fish fighting a river,
found the corners of windswept melee
as snakes bred in folds of the mountain?

I'm lying. I smoothed the divan, undressed her
knee by knee. A feather on the pillow,
echoes in the wall. A net holds fear.
We flee from love in the garb of mourners.




Chris Featherman: Poetry
Copyright © 2001 The Cortland Review Issue 18The Cortland Review