Before the bow, fleeing fish become superaqueous,
Thrill of flight drowns thrill of danger. Sails slack
On boxcutter waves, our Spendthrift Wind sights the bay,
Crew cracking wise with harpoons. A cocktail dress
Slung limp over the topmast, dripping pink champagne

Onto the fantasy. On Meninx, they name themselves
Avalon. Underneath the carnival, on a city pier skirted
In paper dragons, a slow pack, ever indistinct, scavenges a
Great cadaver, bones out revenants from the beached flesh of
A lie. In spring, new barrels of sand and ground

Glass become relief from the surface of the sea.
A fix for sticky peat (popsicle sticks, popcorn, and torn
Receipts). A calamity not transcendent, but immanent.
The island’s lift is unstable, a rumored machine stolen by the
Pirates of all earth that rises from the Earth. Aging trajectories

Decay. A Ferris wheel that never stops suddenly
Rust in the air, Zipper denatured into grease and squeal, Fun
House in flames, balloons burst into discarded feathers,
What a waste of magic! Signs of consequence become
Erased, fetishes repainted. Hidden in a wrong rainbow,

Hunters glide on facets of floodlight hexing down wireless
From telephone poles, scissoring shadows into figures
Backlit on last legs. Exhausted and nerveless citizens
Method act, buoyed by stakeless games. Prepared
To be engulfed by things fleeting and tangible. Diving,

The incisor-eyed: engines of ruin; engines of woe. Engines of
Drowning, metal wing spindles fanned and strapped with
Headstone-pale plastic, greedy as piranha. Never landing,
They smoke parabolic, up into jet currents. Gorged on
Slipping at last under the surface.

Benjamin Goodney

Benjamin Goodney was born in Minnesota, took two degrees in philosophy from Illinois, and resides outside Atlanta. He is a freelance editor and a designer, most recently for Storm Cellar. New poems are forthcoming in Confrontation and at Prick of the Spindle.