On Rand McNally’s World


North America’s all cracked up                   the blue
poured round her ankles                  fossil eons

winking to skeletons in Ireland and
Sierra Leone               Places we’ve gone              no

more than a view from space           But the project
was never to be satisfied                  We were

bound together with egg and milk before
marching into cartographic orbits                   our        

time so small               airplane windows
grandpa’s fading map of the Lady

of the Lake                  shoes losing their heels             Sri Lanka
acts out one of my fantasies             Mongolia

another                                       I’m sighting land tomorrow
and intend to get it right this time


Ghosts in the Laundry

A red towel over a lamp is still
                                                       light
in a way that the ocean filled with trash
can’t be                 ocean.
                              How I remember it.
                              How our hands remember
when our words forget.
You know you’re
losing it
when you can’t recognize
the faces
               in the magazines. Some call
this hibernation.
                               But
                                       my brother and I
can sing back the games, we can sing
you
       more childhood commercials than
extinct continents.
                                  This is what dementia
looks like without saying so.
                                                    For the radio
says we started to see more
                                                  blue
when we
made up a word for it. Red
                                                 floating first
                                                  to the eye
                                                                    as sweetness to our mouths.

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Rachel J. Bennett's work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals including elimae, New Madrid, Permafrost, Similar:Peaks::, Smartish Pace, The Portland Review, Toad, and Verse Daily. Her poems have been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and been finalists for awards through Smartish Pace, Bayou Magazine, and Ruminate. She calls Brooklyn home.