ISSUE FIVE: My Laser Style | next poem →

Level with Animals

Rachel J. Bennett

A long pullback shot of some twelve hundred pairs of animals
entering the ark set a record for processing hours: it would have
taken one computer more than thirty-eight years to build.

—From a New Yorker article on the making of Noah

Think of it: sixty or so new animals
each year and the mind containing

them the way the air contains a
magician's endless handkerchief,

red stuff pulled knot by knot from
an empty pocket. And have I

built in all these years a single
memory of land? And have I left

anything holy alone? My herds and
flocks don't know but they also

don't care, so long as stalls are
mucked and hooves trimmed like

so many cells in the story of you
I wanted every satellite to touch

like a hem. My beasts. Sometimes
when the sea tears itself limb

from limb I sing them long-ago
songs of a great machine

commanding us to believe—and how
we believed—and of the world that kept

holding on even when we let go.

Rachel J. Bennett likes outliers. Her chapbook, On Rand McNally's World, is forthcoming (Summer 2015) from dancing girl press. A few places her poems live are Sixth Finch, Similar:Peaks::, Rattle, Big Lucks, Salt Hill, and Vinyl. You can find her on the M train and @rachtree11.

ISSUE FIVE: My Laser Style | next poem →

ISSUE FIVE: My Laser Style

Geramee Hensley
   November is an anagram
     for fishhook

Taunja Thomson
   Skull, My Former

Rachel J. Bennett
   Level with Animals
   Field Dressing
     My Favorite Animal

   For the Programmer

Sean M. Conrey
   Alan Lomax Translation No. 1:
      Nimrod Workman, 'Mother
      Jones Will' (1983)

   Alan Lomax Translation No. 2:
      "Belton Sutherland's
      Field Holler" (1978)

Heather McNaugher
   Nature & Environmental
     Writing Workshop

Thea Goodrich
   Keynes & Keats as the Keystone
     Cowboy: Infinite Iterations

Vanessa Couto Johnson

Raymond Farr
   Encroachment on a Dry Source

Kristin LaFollette
   The Burial

Anna Kreienberg
   a tornado poem

Alejandro Escudé
   A Proper Pressurized Blast

Cathryn Cofell