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Rare Zodiacs

How’s Mercury in retrograde treating you?
My browser won’t open, email status bar
nothing but spinning hourglasses. Makes sense,

Great Communicator turned cosmic trickster,

though rare zodiacs only appear to drift
backwards – like overtaking headlights at night,
some strange family inside singing though darkness.



A soldier from another century points
his weapon in your direction. This is how
wars pierce the future. Imagine your neighbor

missing an arm. Some say “Secure the borders.”

Some say “Darwin was the first capitalist.”
Truth be told, nature only collaborates.
Every wound writes invitations to the past.



657 new barrier
islands cataloged this year by satellite
reveal we’re still learning to count what we can’t

view from above. Your iPhone keeps its secrets

but there’s an app download to delete your tracks.
Remote imagery improves resolution.
Barrier islands migrate through erosion.


Brent Goodman’s new poetry collection, Far From Sudden, is forthcoming in 2012 from Black Lawrence Press/Dzanc Books. His debut, The Brother Swimming Beneath Me (2009), was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and a Thom Gunn Award. He lives and works in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.