Two Poems by Benjamin Schmitt


You can feel so sad
that your smile is infectious
all of your hidden feelings
leaping into other hearts
until breakfast disappears into nothing
and the clock is only able to tell the latitude
and longitude of a memory
the windows of your house
become the windows of an airplane
as you look out upon a city you’ve never seen before
filled with the sad people
you want nothing to do with
infected by you their taxicabs
float upwards into the air
they are coming after you
to itch their rashes
you barricade yourself in the bathtub
because the dirty water is the only mess
you can control at thirty thousand feet
the lay minister shouts at you from the mirror
surrounded by the housewives
who are still trying to claim you
your skin surrounds water
and water surrounds you
the sadness in your heart
is never seen at dinner





Sonnet #3

As a kid I moved around a lot
sharing the knowledge of hurricanes
and the tornados that decimated
I measured all my personal wreckage
the wind of a first day at school and the rain of a new town
would blow cars through houses and lobsters into Chihuahuas
as I walked barefoot through fields of broken glass and taunting

Sometimes I’d like to live alone
traveling past the edges of my infamy
to a mountain without conversation
but loneliness is a storm as well
the kind that will bury you after a peaceful night in a cottage
with pages torn from the Bible and your autobiography
falling down from the sky are the sacred parachutes of isolation





Benjamin Schmitt’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Grist Journal, Solo Novo, The Monarch Review, Blue Lyra Review, Forth, and elsewhere. His first book was published in 2013 by Kelsay Books. It is entitled The global conspiracy to get you in bed. He currently lives in Seattle with his wife where he teaches workshops to both children and adults.