share


Social Contract

Formally, I and the undersigned—

What? Use, like Mama said, your

imagination if you still have one

where scripts still sway like spring-

hipped hula girls on Ford dashboards,

where cursive still wraps its tail

around your right hand like a pet

corn snake, where syntax still

stutters, lurches into a sin, a sandwich,

a pleasured refrain; if that much of you

remains, you’ll see them, us, me

(lonely as a broken doorknob),

the possible contours of silent

manifestos.—do hereby request

you speak for us only if you

speak for us. We realise

there is that which we do

not see. We realise there is

that which you do not see.

We realise knowledge

is fragile as mucous membrane,

but we don’t want much.

Only not to be taken,

 

only for hope everywhere—

wildflowers, voice, water.

 

We will pay—have paid—

with ocean bodies, river minds.

 

Let us watch the water rise,

smash stone.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

is a doctoral candidate studying poetry at the University of Cincinnati. He earned an MFA from the University of Miami, where he was a James Michener fellow. His poetry has appeared in a variety of literary journals.

READ NEXT

fiction

January 2017

Oh You

Keller Easterling

fiction

January 2017

You won’t be able to do it. It is a call, and it is something you only know how...

feature

September 2014

The Mediatisation of Contemporary Writing

Nick Thurston

feature

September 2014

Trying to figure out what marks contemporary literature as contemporary is a deceptively complicated job because the concept of...

feature

October 2012

Crown of Thorns Starfish

Caspar Henderson

feature

October 2012

If you look into infinity what do you see? Your backside!  –Tristan Tzara   The drug-addict, drunk, wife-shooter and...