Christos Kalli


Pardon my thirst.

             When I pierce the midnight storm

                         I am more arrow than man
the way the rain          thinning above

is more fangs than water.

Two shadows away,    a stranger
                                          sits in a mist dress

                         lit only by the last burning embers
of his cigarette. He sees me and my thirst
                                                                         and says

you must be after something sinister to be out after dark.

I respond by reaching the street,         knees first.
             My skin,     
                        tooth-marked by night’s bite,
             absorbs whatever little moisture it can

and I beg

             for some thing other than a swallow
       to nest
                                      in this summer-dry sponge

                                                  of a mouth.

With the fire of his cigarette now drowned,
            I see him sucked

                                     by the black

and I, facing upwards,
                                     make a glass
                                                  out of my open lips    

                       and tongue.

With a mouth full,       I finally drink that night.

            I drink it slowly.



Christos Kalli, born in Larnaca, Cyprus, is currently studying for his undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. He has recently been accepted by the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford for a postgraduate degree. His poetry has been translated into French and shortlisted for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize, and his chapbook INT. NIGHT was a finalist for the Sutra Press Chapbook Contest. His poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from the American Journal of Poetry, the Adroit Journal, the Los Angeles Review, the minnesota reviewPANKThe Hollins Critic, and Dunes Review, among others. He is a Poetry Reader at/for the Adroit Journal. Visit him at christoskalli.com