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 feed my body less and want more the surplus
I was promised storehouses of grain plains of locust
don’t signify a thing without hunger
telos that defers its own ending
Which isn’t to say I’ve a vision
or can calculate a head of grain against a golden calf
in a crisis or pinch or hitch in which a child (there is always a child)
born tomorrow judges me for my lack
of discretion, brings legal action against my hunger, which wouldn’t have existed
were it not for the child’s face always looming
before me asking me to materialize what won’t
I stock my dreams like cans in a bunker I wait
for doom siphoning off a day here and there I store the future
in a sack with a hole through which a mouse lives and dies happy
I eat its shit knowingly and with envy of its tiny gut
Which isn’t to say I’ve promised anything
only that I’ve considered the balance I weighed the future
against my hunger and found it wanting found the surplus was only
my own body working twice as hard then harder hardening itself
against a future I had already consumed
Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, Monthly Roundup, and event notifications.
“Never do unto me what your uncle has done to us.” A family member’s disappearance leads to personal revelations.
Critics say human rights discourse blunts social transformation. It doesn’t have to.
“My mother has not slept for seven days.” A Taiwanese woman’s brother avoids calling their mother, setting off an insomniac unraveling.