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Christopher T. Keaveney

Christopher T. Keaveney teaches in the Global Liberal Arts Program at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, Japan. His poetry has appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Columbia Review, Cardiff Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Stolen Island, Faultline and elsewhere. He is the author of the collections Your Eureka Not Mined (Broadstone Books, 2017) and The Boy Who Ate Nothing But Sonnets (Clare Songbirds Press, 2019).


We had been speaking about marrow
in the abstract
so as not to become beholden to it,
to the diligence of its exacting syntax.
We certainly could have argued ad infinitum
about both the woof
and the warp of your treatment,
the stitching that seemed to be holding,
but that would have changed nothing
and we would still have been left huddled
at the campsite beneath a threadbare
beside a fireless grate.

You got it all wrong
if you are picturing the skyline
of an industrial city suspended
beneath a yellowish haze.
Think instead in terms of the Swedish village
that we chanced upon after a long summer’s night
of driving,
fjords galore
and the rental car’s gears ground to fool’s gold.
Think in terms of the cat’s methodical
deboning of the baby squirrel
that both repulsed
and engrossed us and became a metaphor
that we whipped out at least twelve times that autumn
during long hours waiting in labs
and exam rooms,
chewing around the bones so gingerly,
knowing that in the end we would have to put
it all back together.
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