Joshua Boettiger



i. In Fewer than 9 Lines

I come from good stock – handshake people, dwellers on the periphery.
My mother wore headscarves decorated with coins and had premonitions.
When dignitaries visited, my father worked assembling facades of villages
overnight and then dismantling them. We raided cities but took only
what we needed. My wife was stolen from the gilded neighborhood.
She was on the front lawn waiting for me, as if she knew I was coming.
She asked if I was a globalist. Dawn was nigh and there wasn’t much time.
I threw her over my red pony, said giddyup.

ii. In Fewer than 6

The snowbirds chase the sun. The paramour circles himself (in different guises).
I follow the black river, the broken bottle, any ritual that restores.
I saw a poster at the boarding house: The Transmogrification of Narcissus
a man is swallowing his penis and turning into a flower. I thought I could sit down
and burn a hole through my suffering by sheer focus. I got distracted.

iii. In Fewer than 3

Each morning something once mine falls down and I look where it lays.
The shape it makes. The new folds and shadows.


JOSHUA BOETTIGER’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Parabola, Dream Pop, San Pedro River Review and elsewhere. He is a contributing author to the anthology, Neither Here Nor There: The Many Voices of Liminality.


Read more by Joshua Boettiger:

Poem in Dream Pop
Poem at the Oregon Poetry Association