Looking for Shorty’s Cabin

All morning the cabin 
kept jumping up the mountain 
just out of sight, 
its walls stacked with tins of food 
and stories to last through the winter. 
After lunch 
I came to a field where rocks 
stretched out between the pines 
and there stood a buck, taller than me. 
Two branches of horns faced me, 
rooted to the spot. We grazed 
each other’s thoughts across the clearing.
Around us, mariposa lilies 
drank the melted snow 
and pushed their buds toward the sun. 

The End of the Line

Once, Constantine brought me to Brighton Beach 
to eat tongue and drink carafes of vodka. 
But most of the time, 
I ride to the end of the line to come to Coney Island. 
The Cyclone is America’s oldest wooden roller coaster. 
Not the fastest or the highest. It doesn’t loop-the-loop, 
but wobbles and creaks 
and when it comes to the end 
the tattooed guy who’s so big he’s got six legs – 
two he was born with and four little metal ones 
welded to the stool his ass has grown over – 
cranks the lever to stop the ride 
and smiles at me, as if to say, Lucky. 

Listen to Charis Boos read ‘The End of the Line


Behind every wall is a story
possible only because of the wall
like the silhouette of a lover
undressing behind a screen.
In the forest is a forgotten 
wall, built by forgotten men 
who know a lithic grammar 
and can parse every stone they lay. 
I build a wall 
on the blind river’s bend, 
hang time on it 
like ceramic ducks, 
imagine you 
playing the piano 
and the blind river humming home. 


Charis Boos was born in America in 1979. She was a member of the 2008 MA in Creative Writing class at Victoria University. She lives in Auckland, where she teaches Latin and Classical Studies.