Two Poems

Poetry by Seth Copeland

Some of the Aphrodisiacs

after Cathy Park Hong

Choochee shrimp sits like a radioactive Ganges.
Jasmine tea misses the bloodlust of the insects.

We’re still talking about Polanski’s Macbeth.
When MacDuff’s son bathes naked, he knew

what he was doing, right? Thai tea looks like
shallow mud until you make it spin its dress.

The joyless anxiety of slowly letting our knees
touch, the chaste exhilaration when they do.

That one witch, did she not have eyes at all?
Didn’t look like it. And that dagger, couldn’t

give up its moment to shine, fading in and
out till Jon Finch just doesn’t give a shit

anymore if its Shakespeare or Bukowski’s
toilet roll. You said spice of one, right?

That’s a lot of red pepper. Garlic breath
is not romantic, but I shame to wear a

heart so white.


Never Never

someone is leaving my downstairs neighbors’
/two women talk in a doorway/a boy and
girl each saying bye Tay Tay bye over & over/last minute news
exchanges lively between people/a toddler tries to
chime in ba tete/now voices argue/
this is where we are/

the year passes like an ugly flash/lingering blasts
of nerve after a toe meets the corner of
a coffeetable/things even smell different in this
other timeline/every rare steak ordered
is medium/news is not fake it is not
fake it is dead/

my worst torture/i have this holy dream/
water is always pure/nobody is because of pain/
no hurt can outflank love/& it
hurts like hate to dream this when it never wants
to possible/never never kills the heroes/
never never makes them godly


Seth Copeland has recently appeared in Yes Poetry, Birds Piled Loosely, Permafrost, Kestrel, and Crab Fat, among others. He is the founding editor of petrichor and teaches in the Oklahoma City metro.

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