Le Bateau Ivre | Melanie Lust

John Bonanni
November Ninth

What if         by & by the rig
became unhinged              tramped
          this boat       rocks           on the harbor
this              run              into rocks
          November     is      a         body
May the circle
                              be unbroken

the body                                     is a face
          a face           which
doubles                  invisible       there is
          how you are           & then
how the empowered sees you
this boat                                     this leak
          & how the power sees you
is a thing                is yes, but

is taking our jobs              is
          a nice rack              is yes, but not

call it            marriage      is       this boat

is leaking               call the harbor patrol
                    by & by
          is She’s not even attractive
This ship is sinking is        the harbor patrol

is I’ll fix everything don’t you worry little girl
          is what lifeboat
is those        blacks in the inner cities
is Did you see how much weight                  is my body

is       you               looking at me
         & I can’t breathe

& neither should

John Bonanni lives on Cape Cod, MA, where he serves as editor for the Cape Cod Poetry Review. He is the recipient of a scholarship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and a residency from AS220 in Providence, RI. His work has appeared in CutBank, Assaracus, Verse Daily, the Seattle Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Prairie Schooner.

Melanie Lust is a student at Staples High School in Westport, CT. She has been interested in both poetry and art since elementary school and is currently the creative director at her school newspaper, Inklings. In her free time, she paints watercolors as a hobby. The one above is inspired by the Arthur Rimbaud poem of the same name.