Call to Action
Though its primary function is withstanding a sustained assault, a castle also serves as the dominant symbol in most state-sanctioned mythologies. Pay attention, pay attention. If we’re all in this together, why must I prioritize minor celebrities in my daily prayer regimen. When the cable car I’m riding gets stuck above a mountain, my mind distracts me with nuanced reenactments of icicles melting. What do we have left. Inside every castle inside every myth is a locksmith walking through doorless corridors, a spy listening through a wall to the simple melody of ampersands. What did we have to begin with. Was it ever ours.
Coalition of the Unwilling
A soprano practices in the apartment next door, hitting the same high note over and over again. On the news, public officials convey the appropriate urgency. Clever us, compelled by infographics. We have no capacity for assailable villains. Cut to cops in riot gear. To barricades. To a flag ascending like a cloth to our faces. Tender ether, breathe it in.
another historic moon
Sadness and its subfeelings
pledge obedience to the state
On the dais
children excel at ceremonials
while the brass band
Drizzle turns to rain turns to hail
The politics of arithmetic continue apace
Who among us
isn’t with us
Elizabeth Onusko is the author of Portrait of the Future with Trapdoor (Red Paint Hill, 2016). Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Bennington Review, Best New Poets 2015, Conduit, DIAGRAM, Sixth Finch, Fugue, Southern Humanities Review, and Redivider, among others. She is the editor of Foundry and assistant editor of inter|rupture. Her website is elizabethonusko.com.