The unthinkable prospect
Of a world in which I am left
To my own devices

Which are few and as soon
As the batteries die   useless
First order of business

I draw a map in the sand and
Mark where I stand as the capital
Of civilization   within me the
Detailed blueprints of the pyramids
And the concept of zero
Beyond me the finite frontier

The many miles of undeveloped
Shoreline with spectacular views of a
Sea filled with intricately depicted
Monsters   just as the first of our kind

Must have done I make a list
Beginning with all the things I need
To do to survive then moving on
To art then astronomy then industry
Then medicine then technology

For now I’ve got to hurry   the sun
Has begun its descent and I’ve yet
Caught a fish worth keeping.

About the author:
Brian Russell holds an MFA from the University of Houston, where he served as poetry editor of Gulf Coast. His manuscript, Nights under Water, was a finalist for this year’s Miller Williams Prize (University of Arkansas Press) and Cleveland State First Book Prize. The poems included in this issue are from a new manuscript.

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