Christopher Looks: a collage*

by Christopher Hennessy

Christopher looks like he's been spit out,
like a too-salty piece of meat,
like an unwanted thought.

Like a plastic mannequin,
like he's been dead for ten years
like a talking prune.
Christopher looks like I'm having trouble creating him,
or like he could be the father of purpose.

When he crawls, Christopher looks like a little turtle
negotiating a path of slick stones.

If you don't know what Christopher looks like,
visualize a garden gnome.

Somedays, Christopher looks like an ordinary young man;
others he looks like a man dying to get out alive.

Christopher looks like he is cold
at the first sight of blood.

Now Christopher looks like he's melting
along the edges of a coffin, into the dead man's suit,

Christopher looks like someone you will recognize
if you go to heaven.

Christopher looks like he's in hell
as he stammers an apology

for not calling.

Christopher looks like a frightened scarecrow
…like a naughty little boy dressed in a bowtie

Christopher looks like he's trying
—and failing—
to strangle himself with his black cravat.

Christopher: looks
like your trunk
is full of bodies.

*Created by carefully piecing together the results of 'Googling' the term "Christopher looks."

Christopher Hennessy is the author of Outside the Lines: Talking with Contemporary Gay Poets (University of Michigan Press), and my poetry appeared in the Ploughshares special "Emerging Writers" edition. My poetry, interviews, essays, and book reviews have appeared in American Poetry Review, Verse, Cimarron Review, The Writer's Chronicle, Crab Orchard Review, Natural Bridge, Wisconsin Review, Brooklyn Review, and elsewhere. My poems were anthologized in This New Breed. He blogs at