Chrissy Martin

We Had That Conversation

Chrissy Martin

& someone says           we have got to talk about what to do with his body
but you’re like    
        the cottage cheese he bought is still in the fridge                   still good

and they say 
         cremation           or casket
& you’re like no         I said cottage cheese

your grandmother sits in his La-Z-Boy crying           her little body doing a bad job
at hiding the large dip in the seat 

& you say    
cremation is cheaper plus he always told us to put him in the backyard
                                                              for the crows

& Grandma says what happens when the Lord comes & there is no body so we sit there
silence and our coffee
         wanting to tell her
                         we can’t afford heaven this time

Do You Have the Time?

because I ignored him on the train / platform / escalator /

because I put on lipstick that morning / because I put on heeled

boots instead of flat / too much hipsway / not enough eye

contact / you know there’s not even music in these headphones

/ you know they don’t even work / something to blame the

silence on / and when someone tries to say street safety / I hear a

choice between my safety and my sanity / and they say don’t

wear a ponytail / or don’t not wear a ponytail and / pretend

you’re on the phone / but actually / just look him in the eyes

/ ask him the time / no quarters to put between your knuckles

/ try nickels / not dimes / but even with a loud coin purse / still /

brown spit on the back on my sweater / mat of my hair /

spatter of bubbles on the back of my cold neck / a hand

gripping the thick of my arm / some hands think they’re so

important / pressing their fingers into the skins of figs or / the

snap of a thumbnail breaking into a ripe apple


Chrissy Martin is a PhD student at Oklahoma State University and a recent graduate from the Poetry MFA program at Columbia College Chicago. She also holds a BA in English from The University of Akron. She is the Poetry Editor for Arcturus and an Editorial Assistant for Cimarron Review. Her work has appeared in Amazon's Day One, Voicemail Poems, (b)OINK, Bad Pony, and Lit.Cat