Zella Christensen


to lie down
in your white bed
and rest

white petals on asphalt
branches naked
he and she

lawn mower groans
inside, air conditioning
hot tea

branches naked
but too old
to care

The Winter Whales

Once a child threw a stone and grew.
The lake was almost thawed
as the stone arced toward it
to strike out sound.
She was a woman
when the stone hit
and old when the lake melted,
retelling guests the sound
ice made on stone.

She says the sound came
from tiny invisible whales
beneath the ice.
The stone startled them into singing
and the pods scattered.

In summer they slept
in lake-bottom mud
and children dug deep
to touch skin like peeled eggs.
She forgets their names.
She remembers each was long
with adjectives.

Ask her where the whales went.
She turns her chair to the screen
where broken Earth streams by
in images and text. She says, “Once
the lake froze…”

Zella Christensen is a Wisconsinite currently studying at George Mason University in Virginia, where winters are mild and snow days are numerous. Her poetry has appeared in Star*Line, Mirror Dance, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere. You can find her online at zellawrites.com, where she blogs in fits and starts.

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