Rachel J. Bennett


The back of the box tells me
how these little discs will keep
killing for up to six months, but
I don’t feel comforted. I think
we’re all so taken with the slim
odds because to die by lightning or
commuter rail or heartbreak is
just another way to be immortal.
If killing is, too, then six months
is a sentence, and the ghosts
that once were bodies with six
legs will arrive at some point
to escort me to where none of us
ever really thought we would go,
an IRS office in the vicinity of
Pensacola, where it’s told
the beach is white as Christmas,
if Christmas were also full of
the residual births of one million
species we know about and
nine million species we’ve never
met. I never met your mom or
sister or her baby, and I barely
met you, but I have made it
count, the way we would talk all
night by the ocean if we only
had one mind. The way I like
to imagine waking in excruciating
joy for those six months, knowing
I’m still killing, still have what
it takes to assert my presence,
like every tooth of mine were
a poison tooth and every breath
doing great damage. This is
the conundrum and the choice.
Every day ends in darkness,
but there’s a trick for kicking
the wall to shake the eye in its
socket and turn the light back on.

Rachel J. Bennett's poems have appeared in inter|rupture, Sixth Finch, Smartish Pace, Spittoon, Verse Daily, and (soon!) Salt Hill and Vinyl, among others. She was recently Poet of the Week through www.brooklynpoets.org and, it goes nearly without saying, calls Brooklyn home.
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