What if Venus had risen not from the froth of the sea

but from a pool on a farm in Iowa or Minnesota

with tower silos of grain as her backdrop as visible

from the kitchen window as in the camera lens

at the very moment wind sweeps her auburn hair

to stream like a banderole from her body’s masthead

and her right knee bends inward protectively in counterpoise

to the slight tilt of her head and the jutting out

of the elbow as her hand takes rest on the slim hip,


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Karl Plank

Karl Plank is the author of A Field, Part Arable (Lithic, 2017) and BOSS: Rewriting Rilke (Red Bird, 2017). His work has appeared in publications such as Beloit Poetry Journal, Notre Dame Review, Zone 3, New Madrid, and Briar Cliff Review, and has been featured on Poetry Daily. A past winner of the Thomas Carter Prize (Shenandoah) and a Pushcart nominee, he is the J.W. Cannon Professor of Religious Studies at Davidson College.

Contributions by Karl Plank