Linda Benninghoff has published most recently in Agenda, Ocho and MiPOesias.  She has published five chapbooks, one of which won an Editor’s Choice Award from Kritya, an arts center in Kerala, India.  She earned her B.A. in English  from Johns Hopkins University and an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Stony Brook University. Now at work on a full-length book, Benninghoff is assistant poetry editor at


This winter I find a white fish bone
at the edge of a river.
The air of the house
clogs with the sea
and its rasping voice–
wave after wave,
the slow music tells me
this world
will never be mine,
though it has stared at me
from strange eyes
like wildflowers,
beating wings like a bird
who loses its fear
in my hand,
glancing like a child
with my own thoughts in its eyes.

I know I have never owned anything,
not my hands, my thoughts
nor even the butterflies
that jam
in summer
against stones and flowers,
wavering, thick with themselves,
thronging in a light
that does not divide them,
or tell of any order
besides this day’s blind sun.

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