Ben Lerner, "SODUS"

by Mark Bibbins, Editor


Then you wake fully clothed
Then you write a useful little book
Lightning through the heart of the cloud
high winds have sheared the top from
Then you shelter a candle in your hand
Then you blow a stranger in a doorway
Thunk of the small exploding shell
leaving the candle, thunk thunk thunk

New rule: the next species that escapes,
nests in the stadium lights, I get to be
part of, plumage a color you don’t have
a word for. Then you’re at a B&B;
outside Rhinebeck, watching the war
Then you’re getting choked out at Sunoco
over bullshit, rainbow toxicants in puddle

New rule: no more Velazquez-like faces
on the F, I don’t care if it’s been raining
since you were a child, thunk thunk thunk
Then it’s the summer of the ash cloud
Then it’s the esophageal cancer street fair
obese radio personality in dunk tank
Then it’s the summer of the ash cloud

Ben Lerner is the author of Mean Free Path, The Lichtenberg Figures, and National Book
Award finalist
Angle of Yaw, all from Copper Canyon Press. He teaches at Brooklyn College.

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