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.


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload