Two Passions

by Christine Jessica Margaret Reilly

I have two passions in life: sitting on laps and writing poetry.
I wouldn’t call myself a connoisseur, but I do understand that
every lap is different. I feel like I could stick my entire legs
through them, wade knee-deep, and there is still room to fidget.
Some laps are small and intimidating, like tans in a bottle
or pieces of punctuation. A comma. That was your lap.
I remember it quite well. I felt like a big girl, an elephant,
before I made my mark on top of you. While nestled, I noticed your lap
felt like goose-down. I never asked to leave.
I have a real-self role model and an ideal-self role model.
Dr. Seuss is my real-self. Scarlett O’Hara is my ideal-self.
I say that because I am a loveaholic who sometimes likes to rhyme
(though, not in this poem), yet, I wish I was cold and porcelain.
Sometimes, in my poetry, I make up opinions just to hold onto them.
They disappear
like suds, into the crests and grooves of your hands. You wash your
with my saffron opinions. So I had to make up new quirky
about myself in my poetry for people to grab, hold onto, sit inside of.
I gave everything a title. My nipples, every New York City brownstone.
And for the unfortunate things already christened with titles,
I retitled. I retitled every song that mentioned “Blue Suede Shoes”.
“Walking in Memphis” is now called “Your Festering Lap”. I say that
the song has a lot of pauses, breaths, commas & places to rest.
I have but two lovers in life: you and everyone else.
I go to a Loveaholics Anonymous meeting and accidentally end up
in Los Angeles. I have sat inside of every comma
in this poem, testing out the breathing room with my bum. The best
one (thus far) has been this one: ,
I know you want to test the comma out with yours, so be my guest.
The lap-groove felt so lovely, it nearly broke my back.
I’ve been told that pain is beauty, beauty pain, and that is all I need to
So I decided to christen every lap I’ve sat in with: Defiled.
I have but two opinions in life: I feel safest inside of you
& I think your eyes look like moths, little romantic pieces of decay.


Christine Jessica Margaret Reilly is currently pursuing her MFA in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence University. She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English/Creative Writing at Bucknell University. Two of her poems will be featured in The Clearing: Forty Years with Toni Morrison, 1970-2010, a book by James Braxton Peterson and Carmen Gillespie. She has been published in the Anemone Sidecar,Asinine Poetry, Breadcrumb Scabs, Blood Lotus, Canopic Jar, theBijou Poetry Review, CaKe, Blinking Cursor, Vox Poetica, Louffa Press, Eudaimonia, and Caper Literary Journal. She has also been published in Bucknell’s publications, Fire and Ice and Mirth Grinder. One of her poems was featured in an African Blues Art Installation piece in Bucknell University’s Bertrand Library. She lives in New York.