By Claire Bateman

Featured Art: Different Peoples Inhabit the Countries of the Ocean, plate 23 of 24 by Odilon Redon, 1896

Neither pulverized nor laid to rest,
the phone booths were loaded on container ships,
then consigned to the ocean floor
along with their superheroes
in various stages of undress
who, weary of perusing pulpy directories,
soggy Chick tracts, and obsolete graffiti,
now peer through glass at clouds of kelp,
anticipating a slo-mo emergency.

Claire Bateman is the author of WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD forthcoming from 42 Miles Books, and eight other poetry books. She has been awarded Fellowships from the NEA, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and has received the New Millennium Writing Award (twice) and two Pushcart Prizes. She has taught at the Greenville Fine Arts Center, Clemson University and various conferences, including Bread Loaf and the Bloch Island Poetry Festival. She is also a visual artist.

Originally appeared in NOR 20.

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