D. A. Powell

American Cheese Killed My Cow’s Brudder

My hamburger tasted of sunlight
My hamburger tasted of blood
My hamburger sat on a fat bun
My hamburger cost an arm and a leg

My hamburger was named Rudy
My hamburger grew up in a field
My hamburger threw up its cud
My hamburger has a hard life

My hamburger settled in Boise
My hamburger had little to say
My hamburger felt slim without pickles
My hamburger cried for its mom


a capital makes you
a country
no capital
makes you a nut
suitable for play
in words with friends
or scrabble
bc though proper
yr improper
when you need to be
there’s a zillion
reasons to love
a brazilian
inside each ourico
a cluster of brazils
who knows how
many that is
perhaps a bazillion

who am I to tell you
how ravishing you are
you have the longest coast
I’ve washed up on
so far

First Strains

o owl
lo owl
low owl

o owl
oo owl
woo owl

lo owl
low owl
o owl o owl

o ow
low owl
o owl

The Next Big One

I’m afraid when you come
I’ll just roll with it

Shook to the marrow
Shook to the ground

I will rise from where you laid me
Learn to be simple
Learn to be sinful again
Take me up in your Rolls and

Rock me daddy any way you like it
Just watch me shake you down

Valentine’s Day

a line of young men in lawn chairs
waiting for loneliness
to open

D. A. Powell’s books include Repast and Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys, both from Graywolf Press. His honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as the 2019 John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He teaches at University of San Francisco.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.