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by robert balun




I am thinking to when I will have seen 

a monarch butterfly for the last time 


a scrap of black plastic drifts

and almost looks like a crow


each day I disappear into the hiving





what is happening

in the spaces between language


amid the alien corn


how can I explain it


the labyrinthine architecture of the dream 

dreaming of itself

against the reality of that which is irreplaceable


today I see a honey bee climb inside a morning glory

so far it disappears


how can I explain it to you



“amid the alien corn” is from Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats

Robert Balun is an adjunct professor at The City College of New York, where he teaches creative writing and literature. He is the author of the poetry collections Acid Western (The Operating System) and Traces (Ursus Americanus Press). His poems have appeared in Reality Beach, Powder Keg, TAGVVERK, Tammy, Prelude, Barrow Street, Apogee, Cosmonauts Avenue, and others. He is also a union delegate for City College, and a PhD student in English at Stony Brook University.

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