​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

​​chris gaffney



of eggshells and lost hairbrushes


To flinch is the easiest pastime.                               The way your muscles nudge each other to build a shadow of mineral glitter on the wall. The way your mouth bends itself into two-mutual and evacuation, black and enormous like the ceiling trembling on a pill before we take it.  Consider love as a moonlight leaking nutshells, fists closed, too lopsided. Maybe that is why it can only blow a           pavement inside your ear. Sometimes, you go out at night collecting five cichlids with fluted necks to feed them egg yolks pressed behind crabscuttles, or thin piano wafers. Thin and lurid, like a plunge limbed river, or a slanted wish.  Practice, practice. I hear the velvet murmuring inside like I have pressed my eyes too hard. Like a cliff, it rolls out of my tongue after I have chewed too many skies folded neatly by crows humming close to my teeth. I must spill in lungs, and dirty cowboy boots. We grow together till our toes refuse to cope with deep waves. 

One by one, we
walk out of each other

wide like small fingers

​twisting inside   our seashell collection.


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Chris Gaffney is a poet who lives in Ohio with his partner and two cats. A Best of The Net nominee, his work has appeared in various literary journals. He was accepted at The Kenyon Writer’s Workshop last year, and he plans to put his poetic processes in action by attending an MFA program this year.