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The pool is empty; no bathers stand nearby.
The beast must be glorified and so each bristle stands out
on its raised, humped back.
The pool must be glorified and so each aquamarine tile glistens, having
been scrubbed, before the photograph was taken,
It is the perpetual today, that which has historians running
through empty fields in white coats,
taking the pulse of the world . . .
The beast breathes silently, exhaling steam from its nostrils.
The crowd maintains its distance and its composure:
how like a crowd.
The beast maintains its beastliness: how like a beast. That which
is wild will remain wild.
The last doctrine is that of redistribution of matter.
The last item is a stick, and, at the end of the stick,
Virginia Konchan is the author of three poetry collections, Hallelujah Time (Véhicule Press, 2021), Any God Will Do, and The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2020 and 2018); a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017); and four chapbooks, as well as coeditor (with Sarah Giragosian) of the craft anthology Marbles on the Floor: How to Assemble a Book of Poems (University of Akron Press, 2022). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Best New Poets, The Believer, and The New Republic.
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