I smell stars, loudly –

singing rings of chorus, orbits. Towards us, comets—

named them after us. Named them Halley,

Hale-bopp— tear drops

on fire.


I can lay

on my back on the hillside

by the road,

sniffing out Cadillacs and autoshow

Edsels, winesap taillights, tasting

speed, and cinnamon


blood, hot blood shining

in pale moonlight—

tar black engine oil blood.


A Jake brake pulses, echoes, and rolls

over hills. It fills the still air, the stale night

and bare trees with shuddering leaves.


In rings of purple my retinas lattice

tear detach. Afterimage burns which streak

in green neon


through my galaxy

of void I see all.

CJ Cioc is a Rosemont College graduate with his MFA in Creative Writing. His poetry collection “Capitulum” recently earned him Thesis of the Year and thesis with distinction. As an undergrad he served as a contributing editor for the campus magazine, Calliope, before graduating with his BA in English. He was awarded the Martha E. Martin Writing award for both Fiction and Poetry. CJ lives in the Pocono Mountains where he enjoys backpacking on the Appalachian Trail, sleeping in, and mending stone walls.