After the Reception

After the reception, everything
was a Mylar balloon. You could pop
the trees and watch them whizz
around the sky like unleashed kites.
Or send a mean neighbour
to Mongolia. The houses bounced
with their hidden joy. Everyone
content with their antigravity.
I could've let go to follow the currents.
Hang with peace signs of migrating
geese. I rooted myself in you, instead.
How things have changed,
tethering us away from
what grounded us to begin with.

The Tranquility of Tin Openers

You sleep warming
the right month on your skin.

The bath is a hot spring,
you gargle with milk from a forgiving moon.

You mukbang photo dumps of spring,
ravenously feast on autumnal screensavers.

Balanced books make the houseplants
sigh in contentment. You starve unpaid bills.

Your phone is always
as calm as a Buddha.

Colleagues think of you
as a wound that always heals quickly.

Every Christmas is an ice-cream cake
of happiness,

people gather grins like snow.
You are content to let them melt.

You always get cards folded
into swan eggs. They always remember you.

Once, you buried a tin opener
in the garden to see what might fly.

Christian Ward

Longlisted for the 2023 National Poetry Competition, Christian Ward's poetry has recently appeared in Acumen, Dream Catcher, Free the Verse, Loch Raven Review, The Shore and The Westchester Review. He was shortlisted for the 2024 Alpine Fellowship Poetry Prize and won the 2023 Cathalbui Poetry Competition.

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