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


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



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]


I see a million version you

backlisted microfiche

basement compact shelving

… [of me]

hopeless casket before

you’re old



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.