Chrissy Montelli

[Astrophilia: When We Cosmologize as Seedlings in Root,]

refract through me like photons speckled against dark

matter gardens, expand while atoms’ lean electron-
muscles pulse into what we see:

floaters phosphened over lenses like telescoped dust,
tracking flight in spaces between stars—

through pollen-nebulae where we orbited parallel—
dandelion florets squalling against gravity.

What preceded the Big Bang?—Maybe we’re epilogues, subatomic

reactions daisychained in fractals, splitting
like cells—infinity: unit for layers & layers of dermis

greenhoused into planetary bodies. Red
giants flare quickest so I drink rust-hot

watering cans & you miracle-gro, spiral-arm me easy
until we collide:—galaxies roped end to end

come into bloom: I supernova against your stringbean cilia, black
holes vacuum nerve endings in sunspots where we don’t.

Instructions for Reconstructing a Phoenix Skeleton

[1] Kindle the body, monkeywrench open ribs & [2]
invite beach-children to bucket together her gravel-

joints. Collect shells—[3]—stitch into bone [4] with shrapnel
sanded off at the vein. Knot [5] with matches—wait [6]

for the moment embers tremble through ventricle
into atrium:a-gain, a-gain—[7]—& when she becomes

aware of the beating, her bivalves will mollusk
the cage around it. [8] Let heart float exposed:

[9] tissue shoots back through her marrow
frame—once-beak coiling slow, into conch.

Chrissy Montelli  is a student of creative writing and anthropology at SUNY Geneseo. She grew up in Mastic, New York, a quaint-yet-quirky Long Island hamlet. Her writing has been published in The Adirondack Review, Axe Factory Press, and Contraposition Magazine. She hopes to pursue an MFA in poetry after graduation. Her fictional BFF/twin would be Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls.

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