Seth Copeland

Scenic Beach Romance on the Prairie

Plainscape dusk, grainy—

copperheads twist in a dead Ford’s snarl,

grill twisted, frame flippt,

edging a wheat field

Exhaust hack & sap sick, green blood of a cane cholla

split alien under your wheels

We load pond junk with holes

A .22 spits empty harm, we laugh & praise

each other’s shot—

We split your brother’s nickt 40oz

We agree it is awful

A hot sky bruises over

we are dark mouths by now

dark mouths & arms rolling each other into clay boys kiln hot

a boom crumples the air from Fort Sill

spooking cattle down the way

clay figures

our size

in scrimmage for war

brave

in lockers

on your thigh

Moonlight splits a face across the pond

One of us it’s-getting-lates &

we tear out to Baseline Road

past the Congregational Church

where we threw horse apples at each other during Bible School

never wanting a moment

alone with someone more than that

like holding

a prayer in a prism

two tone hologram dust

burned into a backcountry shadow—

A Name Back Home Dragged Up in the News

Can’t quite dream you in the face w/o

mugshot fill-in

vague like [picturing a raceme

[[plants

……fluorescence]]

Bracts? Nope gone as you at the Railhead

Friday nights in the infinity of a

[[town’s only]] metal bar

basic sob rituals

of the

Great Plains Cowtown Hades [[but that

you is gone

GeoCities Angelfire .exe no more

extinct like every giant version

of an animal

[megalopithecuerius eurasiaticas]

on the phone mom tells me

they thought they were jogging

past a barbecue the evening you

burned the body

meth heavy

[…]

[…]

[ masked avengers over more

prairie telephone

old ladies always win this shit]

Will I find you in some museum mockup

unjumbled […] [diorama pose

day pass]

folk memory ][ brochure narrative

will I know you then?

Deja Who?

[distance is]

[dear]

I see a million version you

backlisted microfiche

basement compact shelving

… [of me]

hopeless casket before

you’re old

[…]

[[but]]

long after you’re young

Seth Copeland (he/him) edits petrichor and has recently appeared in Dream Pop, Yes Poetry, Heavy Feather Review, Paint Bucket, and Kestrel, among others. Originally from Oklahoma, he currently teaches and studies in Milwaukee. https://neutralspaces.co/seth_t_copeland/

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