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Five Thousand Times
by
Christine Rhein


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If it’s true, you, me,
five thousand times more likely

to crash in a car than
in a plane, we should kiss

as we are kissing now—outside
the airport, in a downpour—

every bleary morning, every time
one of us grabs the keys,

kiss hard enough to register
the friction, the precise

tilt of our heads, hint of salt
on our lips, heat or thaw

of something nebulous,
edgeless, that we long to carry—

a willow tree swaying with all
our many-weathered kisses, 

the fringe of every held breath,
and this one-and-only gaze

in the rain, in the splatter—
the car horns and thunder— 

one of us to head inside, 
the other to drive away,

our last smiles flashing
through the pulse of wipers—

blades sweeping fast, faster.

 

This poem first appeared in Scythe Literary Journal, Volume 1.
Used here with the author’s permission.

 

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

 

Christine Rhein’s poems have appeared widely in literary journals, anthologies, broadcasts, and online magazines. Her book, Wild Flight (Texas Tech University Press), won the Walt McDonald Poetry Prize. A former automotive engineer, Christine says her background as a mechanical engineer, surprisingly, seems to play a part in her writing. "Each poem presents a puzzle, with components and features that need to fit and operate together just so in order to give the reader the best possible ride down the page. Of course, tinkering with poems is boundless, while cars come with many constraints. When I write, I want a ride that’s not safe, smooth, or even steerable, but rather one that’s full of unexpected lunges, turns, and spins.” Christine lives in Brighton, Michigan; learn more about her at www.ChristineRhein.com.

 

 

 


New comments are closed for now.
msruff:
Exquisite. No more, no less.
Posted 04/24/2015 10:14 AM
Janet Leahy:
"the bleary morning" full of passion, energy and mystery, loved rereading this several times, thanks Christine.
Posted 04/24/2015 09:37 AM
Gilbert Allen:
I really enjoyed the combination of emotional honesty, tenderness, and precise observation in this poem.
Posted 04/24/2015 09:35 AM
karenpaulholmes:
yes, love this poem: the idea of it, the moments captured, the language. Very well crafted and with wonderful meaning.
Posted 04/24/2015 09:13 AM
Barry:
A great little poem from beginning to end!!!!
Posted 04/24/2015 08:58 AM
nancy_scott:
Fine poem. I lingered over it through several reads.
Posted 04/24/2015 07:27 AM
phebe.davidson@gmail.com:
Truly fine work here---ineluctable and irresistible!
Posted 04/24/2015 05:54 AM
laurasalas:
Oh, my. I LOVE this poem. Looking at life's dangers head on and then living the heck out of every minute. That's what everything is all about.
Posted 04/24/2015 05:38 AM
KevinArnold:
what an opening, I'm completely hooked. If it’s true, you, me, five thousand times more likely to crash in a car than in a plane, we should kiss as we are kissing now—outside the airport, in a downpour— every bleary morning, every time one of us grabs the keys,
Posted 04/24/2015 12:29 AM


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