ROSEBUD BEN-ONI Poet Wrestling with the Inaccessible Island Rail

No one would call your island of sheer sea cliffs
You’re na haven, you                  of no known

a haven, you ofrelation. Rare yet

You’re n-of-paradise. Ncommon. Say a raven
You’re ncrossed
a haven, you ofwith a sandpiper.                 You’d go missing

You’re n-of-paradise. Nin a wildlife lineup, sole

species of your genus.

You’re n& the people here are here
You’re nfor the whole
You’re nof tistan da cunha,

a haven, you ofwith faith in their strength & their god
a haven, you of++save the queen
& faith
a haven, you ofnearby they’ve taken

Poet Wrestling with the Inaccesyour neighboring island
Poet Wrestling with the Inaccesas british outpost
Poet Wrestling with the Inaccesoverseas, outnumbered
Poet Wrestling with the Inaccesyou, these seventy
Poet Wrestling with the Inaccessible Isfamilies
Poet Wrestling with the Inacceswho grow
You’re n-of-paradise. Npotatoes
a haven, you ofalong english country
Poet Wrestling with the Inacces-side

Poet Wrestling with the Inaccessible Isvolcano

You’re n& there are no bars & no airport & no air
a haven, you oftransport for they

You’re nare not unlike you, dwelling nearby
a haven, you ofon inaccessible island & god

You’re nsave this shared
a haven, you ofoccupied
You’re n-of-paradise. Narchipelago
You’re nwhen the nearest neighbor
Poet Wrestling with the Inacces-ing
You’re n-of-paradise. Noccupied island
a haven, you ofis nearly two-thousand
You’re nmiles away. In the middle
You’re nof nowhere, it’s just how much
a haven, you ofthey speak

You’re nyour name

falling on your natural
You’re ninability to take wing.

Poet Wrestling with the InaccesBest your strange
Poet Wrestling with the Inaccessible Isremains
Poet Wrestling with the Inaccessible Isa little cold
Poet Wrestling with the Inaccessible Isto the tongue

Poet Wrestling with the Inacces& without explanation
Poet Wrestling with the Inaccessible Isof how you landed

You’re non the most remote & extinct

a haven, you ofvolcanic
You’re n-of-paradise. Nisland,
Poet Wrestling with the Inacceslong after other flightless
Poet Wrestling with the Inaccessible Israils
Poet Wrestling with the Inaccessible Island Ravanished.



Born to a Mexican mother and Jewish father, Rosebud Ben-Oni is a recipient of the 2014 NYFA Fellowship in Poetry and a 2013 CantoMundo Fellow; her most recent collection of poems, turn around, BRXGHT XYXS, was selected as Agape Editions’ EDITORS’ CHOICE, and will be published in 2019.  Her work appears or is forthcoming in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, Tin House, Black Warrior Review, TriQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Arts & Letters, among others; recently, her poem “Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark” was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, and published by The Kenyon Review Online.  She writes weekly for The Kenyon Review blog, and teaches creative writing at UCLA Extension’s Writers’ Program. Find her at 7TrainLove.org.