Wisteria Vines


The wisteria vine

will break in

to your house.


The grapes will ferment on the front porch,

cause your blue

painted wood to buckle, drunk

and peel off their coats.


There’s nothing to fear in the bright light

of day. Look for yourself

in the rear-view mirror.


What is uncanny

about the ghost

is its lack of body, amplified

by its insistent suggestion

of corporeality.


Only a body


a shadow or blows

out a candle or fills

up the arms of a dusty old coat.


But the pea shoot gropes

around and around

in the air you can’t see, but can see through,

just looking for something to hold onto.


Don’t worry about it. Hire the goat man and his temporary fences

and they will eat up

the Himalayan

blackberries, down to the nub. They will leave you

your cherry tree

with its three dead limbs, the feral cats

that died in its branches, exposed:

the possums and rats and raccoons and

the song birds that belong

in the south, but fly north because the sun

stays on.



Chris Shorne holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles and has recently published essays with Utne online, Portland Review, and Entropy. Chris spent 2017 as a human rights accompanier in Guatemala and previously taught at Bent, a queer writing institute.