February 2007

Tess Christi


Tess Christi is a recipient of writing awards from the Fine Arts Work Center, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, the Solstice Writing Conference, and the Vermont Studio Center. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Main Street Rag, The Los Angeles Review, Comrades, and Slipstream. She holds an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and currently teaches at William Paterson University in northern New Jersey.

Leap Year, 1996

Lower East Side.
Stanton Street.
From Amelia's railroad walk-up
little Ralphie shake the hands
of no-good buddies.
is his trash-talk two floors beneath
her crossed fingers.

On fire escape metal
Amelia wishes not the pink wants of sixteen
but rather that
her brother may
to grow out
black tarred, no-green streets and grow past
blunt-banged girls
pushing babies across Houston.

At sunfall see nothing. Count
squatters on rooftops.
At midnight, hear nothing. Expect
snide laughter of street-fiends.
Climb metal every morning
to her red-escape-retreat.
and then resent the twins downtown—
two tall, blonde, sun-polished
bricks of gold



Tess Christi: Poetry
Copyright ©2007 The Cortland Review Issue 34The Cortland Review