Litmus Test: Triptych

I. How to Become Lovers

We lather weathertalk against wayward glances—flash
teeth, redden cheeks like mangoes. When I ask if you’re ready:

say no. Twist your face into shapes you’d only show yourself
in the mirror, laugh when I do. We occupy our own zip code

& colonize private property—when I ask about trespassing laws,
press a rusty paperclip into my palm. Make me fight:

to comb out your salt-specks, to saran-cling
like water vapor. I have all the beliefs of a coroner,
but you charleston through rotor-slaloms.


With feather-fingers, take my phone calls—I wait
for you to find me, split like a daffodil. When we ask
if it was a mistake: hesitate. Then dissolve.

II. Portrait of a Windmill Conglomeration

Clustered: a funnel of valley-grounded turbines—
they flanked cars the way my hands misted
your shoulderblades, measured anticipation
in three-hundred & sixty joules: we were kinetic. 

Bachelor a virgin skyline: the first time
we witnessed turning—paperclip-branches, synchronized
swimmers dipped in ammonia—the bristle
of my arm-hairs murmured here. Everything accelerated—

the wind wasn’t acidic, they knew we were coming,
revolving doors & rings forged out of barbed wire—

my fingers cobwebbed your shoulderblade, & we drove on.

III. How to Dissolve

You won’t ask me to fight & I won’t ask you
to crystallize like water vapor frosting blades

of dormant windmills. We knew this was coming.
Cut stalks off the daffodils in March—handcuff them

with a paperclip in bleach-filled heineken bottles
for vases. Mix & match antidepressants & corrode:

—we lobotomize each other on the way out.

CHRISSY MONTELLI is a student of creative writing and anthropology at SUNY Geneseo. She hails from Mastic, New York, a quaint-yet-quirky Long Island hamlet. Her writing has been published in Axe Factory Press and Contraposition Magazine, and she has previously served as a poetry reader for SUNY's online literary journal, Gandy Dancer. She hopes to pursue an MFA in poetry after graduation.
The Adirondack Review
FALL 2014