A Poem By Cat Batsios

Chinese Lantern from my Greek Father 

Though you hardly knew the difference,
you could crack shells with one hand
and hold me with the other
when I was small—

Those hours of night,
mix of apricots, 1980s animation,
and cosmos—billions and billions of them,
moments like almond shells, fruit stones
with tufts of flesh, stretch of space
between 3 a.m. and porchlight timers
clicking off.
I was once a pomegranate seed
nestled on a pillow dozing to Thundercats,
Scorpius chasing Orion across the sky.

The other day we were in your garden,
vegetables of nightshade family growing
in that house where you would
hold me with one hand
and crack my brothers with the other.
Just before we went inside
opening the door to the kitchen,
you saw the Chinese Lanterns
that tend to make it through winter,
you took the Lantern from its stem,
let it settle into my palm.


Cat Batsios

Cat Batsios was born/raised in Flint, MI, and everything important happened at night under streetlights. Her poems explore/create personal mythology as well as various forms/volumes of violence that impact a self. You can find her poems in print via 94creations #7, and Columbia Journal #54.

About the Author /

Christopher Blackman is a poet and educator. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where he attended Ohio State University. His poems have been published in the Atlas Review. He was a 2015 teaching fellow with the Kenyon Review Young Writers’ Workshop. He lives in Manhattan, where he is an MFA candidate in poetry at Columbia University.

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