Oranges (for Frank O’Hara) ~ poetry by Christina M. Rau


Those years of words unspoken
simply thought and kept to the self
may never emerge, lost to time
under tension.


He asked for extended kindness.
She extended it, and he didn’t
take it. Kindness wasted
by the wayside.


I don’t know what to say here.


There’s something about reflection
in rippled surfaces.
They distort but resemble
the semblance of serenity.


Doves in darkness
shine as light.


They stood in parking lots
after shows and after coffee
in lamplight and moonlight
and neon light, leaned against
cars, leaned into each


Chemistry shifts.


I went to the park to walk in the morning,
and it was the long walk, and there was pavement,
and there was sand, and there was a fisherman,
and there were boats, and there were tall reeds near
the bay. I walked through the bird brush
and blades of uncut grass.


This is where we live now, how we eat,
when we pay bills. This is the life we
live when we live this life.


It doesn’t take much to make me smile.


Moment to moment a process unfolds.
Deliberate and delicate.
In a studio. At a desk. A fan whirring
somewhere overhead or behind.
Hands work hard and sure.
The movement makes the moment.


This is a placeholder for whatever comes next.

Christina M. Rau is the author of the Elgin Award-winning sci-fi fem poetry collection, Liberating The Astronauts (Aqueduct Press) and the poetry chapbooks WakeBreatheMove (Finishing Line Press) and For The Girls, I (dancing girl press). Her poetry has appeared on gallery walls in The Ekphrastic Poster Show, on car magnets for The Living Poetry Project, and in various literary journals. She was named Poet of the Year by Walt Whitman Birthplace Association and Poet In Residence for Oceanside Library NY 2020, and she won the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Creative Endeavors. In her non-writing life, when she’s not teaching yoga, she’s watching the Game Show Network. Find her links on

Show Christina some love via PayPal at cmrau(at)aol(dot)com or via Venmo at christinamrau.