Escape Plan #46

Ben Purkert


& you should exit whatever dark place you’re in:

leave your date wanting more, then pour out

on the sidewalk. In full sun, who knows how

your cheekbones may photograph. How foreign

your heart may appear. You have a nice body

on your hands. You have your looks good

enough to eat. You can run marathons

with a gun going off in your sleep,

but when you reach your time of death,

be ready for seconds: the doctor will lift you

from a drawer & ask which self to unfreeze.

You can play the field or gravel road

but nothing between.


Ben Purkert’s debut poetry collection, FOR THE LOVE OF ENDINGS, is coming out March 2018 from Four Way Books. His poems and essays appear or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, Kenyon Review, The Rumpus, Guernica, Agni and elsewhere. He’s also at work on a novel.