We are a public forum committed to collective reasoning and the imagination of a more just world. Join today to help us keep the discussion of ideas free and open to everyone, and enjoy member benefits like our quarterly books.
I have pressed my liver between panes of glass like
a souvenir shop wild aster. Several white gleams mark
the sun falling, no violet smoke to interrupt.
I have offered up meadows, the orbiting music some
galaxy covets, too far from me. And counting up blue
skies as if any number matched with this year
I have whistled this year from a distance, a sound
only audible to hope, settled as milk. In the muscles
of other mammals, cold bowls its dirty—
the incomprehensible left kitchenly: a dry erase
board and a marker dried quiet. There is no
closure, there is no twine knotting shut bags
full of night, old biscuits, rage, gift wrap, Januaries,
pill bottles, a Whitman’s nougat bitten in two.
Our un-recyclables piled and behind them, as though
behind a hill, a quiver shimmers, the bull faces
a man shooting arrows and the sun slides before—
oily for target practice across innumerable birded
skies. The scrims move across; cardboard scenery
to represent air. Blue as grey, white as heat,
an atmosphere storms so slowly like an anteroom
and you listening for me to go up to bed,
my anteroom a chagrined charge, what we’ll
always have, a shadow charges a string of pauses.
Cynthia Arrieu-King is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Stockton College and author of People Are Tiny in Paintings of China.
Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis is Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts at the Columbus College of Art & Design and author of Intaglio.
Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, Monthly Roundup, and event notifications.
David Hogg and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz discuss replacement theory, the gunman’s manifesto, and how we organize against violent white supremacy.
Companies are unreliable allies in the fight for queer rights and social justice. We must rebuild a working people’s movement.
Decades of biological research haven’t improved diagnosis or treatment. We should look to society, not to the brain.