Bystanders

Seth Copeland

Before burning, rangers scour
for strays, miss an old

deathwish bison, lenses
isinglass scrabble, heightened spoor

of the next world, lambent,
liminal in windlifted brush fire,

still as an uptown statue.
Zephyrs pare the swart umbra.

Infirm shag ecloses from fluming
helical caul, then retreats.

I take on white noise,
occlude as old world revenant,

rattling chains to
jounce the static of your gaze.

Primary succession. No goodbye.
And when black earth

seethes fade, rangers locate
flameskinned bone,

hear the gooey tar face
pop and spit, and that is that.


Seth Copeland lives with his wife in Oklahoma City and is currently pursuing an MA in Creative Writing. His poems have appeared in Garbanzo, Otoliths, Crab Fat, Menacing Hedge, E Ratio and This Land. In the past, he has worked on the twitterzine Cuento, and he currently edits the digital poetry journal Jazz Cigarette.

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