Chris Smith

I drink electricity for breakfast and am lit up.
It’s the same and not the same as swallowing
an entire bag of Atomic Fireballs.
At every point in history someone has been breathing
fire, or trying their hardest to stop the invention
of the matchstick. White-hot noise transmits twilight
through the hanging silhouettes inside
one’s rented vault. Take, for example, the heart
or the empty tree in the faraway field
outside my window. A dead ashtray on the vanity
is tongued in fluorescence, but I don’t smoke
anymore because it kills. The television sits
like a black hole, remaining only to take me
inside. I wait for the night. I wait to become
the streetlight that vacuums in all
the tall buildings—the brilliance people think
is worth encountering the night to see.

Chris Smith recently graduated with an MFA in poetry from Cleveland State University and the NEOMFA: Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts. His poem “The Classroom” won a 2011 AWP Intro Journals award and is forthcoming in Puerto del Sol. Other poems have appeared in Umbrella Factory. Formally an assistant at the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, he is currently attending the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City.