April – Poetry by Benjamin Schmitt

Alex Colville – Ocean Limited

The popsicle stick on the sidewalk 
was dropped carelessly like advice 
to the grieving. Today was unusually warm— 
seventy degrees in April. It felt like  
an inappropriate gift from a rich oil tycoon, 
a diamond ring just to get in my pants. 
Maybe someone was so excited about the heat 
they ate the popsicle with absolute  
abandon, red tongue accosting pedestrians 
as if it belonged to a vampire who figured out  

a way to defeat the sun. Now the popsicle stick  
is swarming with ants, there must be  
some sugar soaked into the wood. 
Their hard work looks disgusting as if  
tenacity is nothing more than a festering sore 
and success can only be achieved through 
the carelessness of something greater.  

I just got a bill, my twenty-year-old car 
needs $2500 in repairs. On the news,  
all the petty statesmen are being rolled up  
with the lint. Nearby, the wind lifts  
some flowers in a bush of snowbrush  
and it looks like a happy girl in a sweatshirt 
lifting her hood. The kind of beauty  
no one can achieve but everyone remembers.


About the Poet

Benjamin Schmitt is the author of three books, most recently Soundtrack to a Fleeting Masculinity. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Antioch ReviewThe Good Men Project, Hobart, Worcester Review, Columbia Review, and elsewhere. A co-founder of Pacifica Writers’ Workshop, he has also written articles for The Seattle Times and At The Inkwell. He lives in Seattle with his wife and children.  

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