Message 41

by Christine Garren

this is my death chamber

the leaves—gas walls, green and thick—

the valves let in

the vapors’ chemicals—

the witnesses are

the birds—

if it is day, I hope the wind is up

if it is night, the moon’s yellow knuckle


a black callus—

this is my death chamber—the passion that brought me to it


Christine Garren is the author of the poetry collections Afterworld and Among the Monarchs. Her latest collection is The Piercing, published in 2006 in the Southern Messenger Poets series from Louisiana State University Press. A Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist and NEA Fellowship recipient, she was born in Philadelphia and has lived in Greensboro, North Carolina, since 1979.