Josh Bettinger


First Dream


Something has to be done
about the zebra in the yard—
its teeth
unruly, and maybe look into then the horse
who left his ghost
so long tide long tide

elle va à Tokyo the ghost tide propped-up
inside the shoe suede’d of dust
—a restoration of tapes
and boxes of mites silently falling into the ditch
your chassis left
when careened
off my small knees held tight like stolen minutes.



Goliath Theory


Tissue hides tissue in tissue; swallows—
gulps at itself

leaps away from itself
to create simple replicas that begin to outnumber
its host. I don’t see

how anything grows without knowing
it is to be consumed by its future; afternoon
of rain begins, stops, turns into

a wet line of tomorrows. We have fed
what asked for, lobbied

with edge
to cleave, but have denied

our own ubiquitous origins. I welcome

the next iteration of chance
the same way I tie my shoes each morning—

process moving through the process;
the very real spoils of an impossible dream.


Josh Bettinger is a poet and editor whose work has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, journals in the United States, England, Ireland, and Canada including Oxford Poetry, Salt Hill Journal, Western Humanities Review, Handsome Poetry, SLICE, The Los Angeles Review, Crazyhorse, and Boston Review, among others. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and children.

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