James Benger


he spends his nights
and no small part of his days
worrying, thinking, pining
on the nature of mortality,
specifically his own.

he prays for some kind of
unattainable dispensation;
some kind of reprieve
from inevitable decay.

because he’s not done,
it’s not done,
and at the end of each day,
he’s increasingly aware
that it never will be.

he smells his end
getting closer with
each exhalation,
and he knows there’s
nothing to be done.

forestall it, sure,
negate it, never.

and for that,
his nights are sweaty,
repugnant reminders
of a flailing, falling day.

he swears he will
live before he dies.

but the clock refuses
to tick any slower.


James Benger has written a bunch of stuff. Some of it has even been published in print and on the interwebs. So far there are three chapbooks, six splits, and two full-lengths. He is the resident slacker on the Board of Directors of the Writers Place, and is the most truant member of the Riverfront Readings Committee. He is also the admin of an online poetry workshop called 365 Poems in 365 Days. He lives and Kansas City with his wife and children.