John P. Kristofco

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The sun discovered her
when it remembered Tutankhamen,
painted Yankee Stadium,
“Hollywood” on California hill,
five billion souls ago,
rushing past in days before the buildings rose,
rivers rusted, rainbows turned to
gravel of our discontent.

She stood, monument
against the wind that wore away
skin and bone, blood of life,
born again in children
in her quiet eyes
and echoed now forever
as they close her from the sunrise
one last time.


two yards down when I was ten
the brown dog at the yellow house growled,
barked, bared his teeth to everyone who passed,
especially to me,
his salvos at my genus,
species, the way I ran away,
this Cerberus of fear made flesh
yipped and spat, relentless as the news,
blizzard wind across the lake,
cancer for the man across the street,
children at the burning school,
his nightmare voice,
epithets against the sun like shrapnel,
glass exploding in my ears
like bombs we saw in films at school,
huddled in our rooms beneath the roof
where yellow sirens sat like hawks,
ready in their nature
to swoop into the afternoon,
steal away the peace


John P. Kristofco, from Highland Heights, Ohio, is professor of English and the former
dean of Wayne College in Orrville. His poetry, short stories, and essays have appeared
in over a hundred different publications, including: Folio, Rattle, The Bryant Literary Review, The Cimarron Review, Poem, Grasslimb, Iodine, Small Pond, The Aurorean,  Ibbetson Street, Blue Unicorn, Blueline, Sheepshead Review, and Slanr. He has published three collections of poetry,  A Box of Stones, Apparitions, and The Fire in Our Eyes and  has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times.