Being Ferried Safe Within Their Deaths

Stephanie Rogers and Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis

Shaking loose the last wizened oranges in the orchard—
certainly beauty has a prevailing lover
to watch the day migrate north for autumn.
And how I understood for that moment
jokes all night. The spot light softens. It’s sad—
again and again. I am kneeling like a small dog.
Come choose the terrible choice
between hope and vanity, the river that eats
fish who leave their ink when they are frightened.

Cento with lines sourced from Rachel Jamison Webster, Theodore Roethke, Leonie Adams, Peter Jay Shippy, Allison Seay,Lisa Allen Ortiz, Emily Berry, Arielle Greenberg, Gina Franco and Arielle Greenberg.

Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis is the author of Intaglio (Kent State University Press, 2006), which won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, and The Rub, which was recently awarded the Elixir Press Editors’ Prize and was published in 2014. She teaches at Columbus College of Art and Design where she is the faculty advisor for Botticelli Literary/Art Magazine.


Stephanie Rogers received her MFA in Poetry from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in publications such as Ploughshares, Mid-American Review, Southern Review, Third Coast, Pleiades, and Best New Poets, among others. Her first collection of poems, Plucking the Stinger, was published by Saturnalia Books in October.

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