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for the 21st century

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Winter 2022-2023

Charles Turner


By the time the promotional bottles from the inland realtors
had begun to wash ashore, their spindled maps and coupons
promising waterproof living in the foothills of the Poconos,

we had decided—finally—to leave the City, abandoning
with mixed regrets those climate-change deniers who,
like the thousands in Pompeii ignoring rumbles underfoot,

had refused to believe the reports of vanishing glaciers
and collapsing ice shelves, so were now marooned in the
tunnels, on the bridges, in the floating traffic on the roads,

while we, off the last ferries swept up the Hudson around
Battery Park from Staten Island, unfolded our Deeds of Trust
and Bitcoin certificates on the little walnut tables set out

by patient bankers in the scenic overlooks along the Palisades—
we procrastinating cliffhangers, wondering as we glanced down
at the bobbing, sinking flotsam of Manhattan and Jersey City,

could even Noah have imagined this in 40 nights of dreaming?

CHARLES TURNER was born in Flushing Queens, attended Queens College, CUNY, later taught there for eleven years in the Communication Arts Dept. before moving to Harrisonburg Va. and the School of Media Arts & Design at James Madison University, where he was a professor of film studies and narrative media until his retirement. His poetry has recently been published in PIF Magazine and the Long Island Quarterly.