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Signal Flares to delia . . . | Benjamin Bartu

Updated: a day ago


Signal Flares to delia, on this, the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Country We Built Together, Lived in Together, and Which One Day Will be Swallowed by the Sea


Oh, delia. I am sorry for our nation. The subtext is clear. It will be eaten by the ocean

blue habits of the law. My love will be outlived, love that is a transcontinental spider

manifesting letters, is you. I no longer capitalize your name. I am learning to cherish

intransigent things. Until then, may the grass be communion wine, canned soft drinks,

the yoghurt & the oats. Say, what did you make of the grass? That which covered us

in the love we unmade, and all the while the distant Catalonian trade ports overrun with

our consumerism. As for Cuba, see cobalt and milk-making. Whatever you love, industry

has been there first. My finest sheepgrain, I will almost miss the garish Argonauts who

filibustered our country to its floorboards: you see it turned out the children really were

just tiny pieces of pop culture packed full of marrow. Now the season, if we still get

seasons, when the fountainheaded crow of myth calls; wetthroat caws out

my

backdoor. Only door. Let’s be clear, soldier to my heart: some wars we fought in I’m

not getting. My Crusades, you called them, and every lowercase t became a cross, and

something sacred became flesh. We turned one by one on our stomachs and did what

the stonefish do in the flatwater. I said distinguish you from eden. You said rally round

the flag. And out on the highway the nameless do what they will to the planet. Though

their hopes are Atlantean. Though their dream is American. It’s all a very sunny disposition.

I am not above a feeling of superiority to certain errors in this world. Once I felt such

tenderness for them. Over years I learned that burns. My evening, chance responder,

withstand this ending world. I kiss its lips for you.





Benjamin Bartu is an epileptic poet and writer studying Human Rights at Columbia University. He is the winner of Blood Orange Review’s first annual poetry contest, judged by Jericho Brown. His writing has appeared in The Adroit Journal, The Esthetic Apostle, Cathexis Northwest Press, and elsewhere. He is an Associate Editor at Palette Poetry


Twitter: @alampnamedben