Alive (En Banco Plato)

Our boat is sunk, and I can see no other 

survivors. Silt falls a long while

to the wreck and the bleached reef.

Skua circle. Beyond the sky a concussion 

of sun. At every compass point unmapped 

cliffs, deserted wellshaft crumbling in — stormdark clouds.

Visions come; I recline

in half sleep, a lemon sargassoed in the blood-warm sea.

Like a busted hull the skull floods again and shades thrash

across my eyelids, fly for somewhere, maybe 

land. I decline to sink, or follow them. It’s not yet time to weigh 

this grin.

The Bird Poem

It’s not that they descend

From tiny dinosaurs.

            And it’s not that they

Can sing and swing and squawk.

These goddamn things can fly!

Benjamin Goodney’s work has appeared in The McNeese ReviewHotel AmerikaBest New PoetsSeneca ReviewGuernica, and elsewhere. He co-founded and manages the literary magazine Storm Cellar. He took two degrees in philosophy out of Illinois and resides along the Minneapolis–Orlando corridor.

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