Four Poems...

Finding Titantium
By Jana DeCristofaro

Mining for courage in an early morning ritual.
Muscle and bone strain forward
as the mind ticks backwards.
Scanning membranes and synapses
for handholds of fault.
Each step flips through a folder
of moments categorized by seasons.

The sound of a car going past
pulls the brain back to the legs.
She slams shut the cerebral
file cabinet of past encounters and
thinks of writing a self help book
filled with the wisdom of pop psychology
bumper stickers that never move.

A passing bicycle creates
another solar plexus sinkhole
until two words – better now-
whisper through enough energy
to inhale oxygenated threads.
Stitching together the edges
of a slice disinfected with
nine months of tears.


The Italian American Death Counselor Goes to Work
By Jana DeCristofaro

Monday morning and we’re live from death central.
Yellow walls and rainbow colored
reminders of those left behind
collide with an earl grey stained sky.
Her power line view remains unchanged.

For twenty years these walls
have gathered leaves of grief that
drop from branches who continue to grow.
Resolutely bending in a tornado vortex of
The Day After.


By Jana DeCristofaro

She spent years
cultivating a hunger
to fill emptiness the records show
started before birth.

A flashing vacancy sign
uncovers the former temptation
to soak her life in D.

With tiny bites
she learns to eat
an existence that begins with A


By Jana DeCristofaro

Soft lines ease into brass studded vinyl backing
as recognition stretches a cord
between foreigners who hydrate
discovery with 32 ounces of theory.
In silent agreement they blink away
sweat stains of practicality.
Each one swallowing cancerous memory
cells shadowed in blue light

Limbic systems rub against each other
long enough to find intimacy
among friends becoming strangers.
In a purple hollow of nowhere else to go
borrowed life braids thought with skin.
They wake in a new land bound
by paper fences of comfort.

Lines harden and leave marks
in this country where the air hurts.
Traversing a familiar war meadow
cardiac pioneers track new paths between the dead
bodies of those who continue to breathe.
Malignancy soon returns on a horse
biting knives as it bleeds through
a tether of sharpened ice.


Jana DeCristofaro recently discovered the pleasure of subjecting others to her melodramatic rants and raves about life and death. As a social worker with grieving children and teens in Portland, Oregon she spends her time surrounded by sticky fingers and stories of loss. Her first two poems were published by the webzine Indite Circle.


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