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On the third day without power in the apartment

after the storm, we fucked, opened the blinds slightly

to invite the sunlight in to dance upon us.

There, in front of the silenced computer & television,

there, without any breath coming from the air conditioning unit,

there, in the little mat of gold the sun had made on our bed,

we dove into one another without hesitation or grace.

The sweat we labored out of our bodies caused us to shine.

In the midst of all that needed beauty,

the couple next door began yelling at each other,

the kind of yelling that is all bile & venom.

We slowed at the sound of their voices,

but stopped completely when we heard their children crying,

wailing & begging the both of them to stop shouting.

The sheer dread emanating from their mouths

crippled the two of us, leveled us like a large, falling wave

& beached us on the belly of our mattress.

I think we both knew somewhere within our frames

that we were hearing absolute fracture –

the sound of a family falling apart in real time,

making us, too, casualties of their chaos.

Christian J. Collier is a 2015 Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellow.  He is an accomplished artist, public speaker, and educator who has shared the stage with several members of HBO’s Def Poetry cast, legendary poet and activist Ishmael Reed, Grammy-nominated artist Minton Sparks, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members The Impressions, etc. Mr. Collier has also given two TEDx Talks and been featured on an episode of TNT’s State Farm Neighborhood Sessions. Repeatedly, he has been featured on the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel. Some of his works have been featured in The Guardian, and published in such publications as The American Journal of Poetry, The Seven Hills Review, TAYO Literary Magazine, Dirty Chai, Freeze Ray, Voicemail Poems, Calliope Magazine, and The Origami Poetry Project to name a few. His 2009 chapbook Ghosts & Echoes has sold hundreds of copies. In October of 2013, he released his debut EP Between Beauty & Bedlam, which is available now at CD Baby, Bandcamp, at live performances, and from Christian’s website (

christian collier
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