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

feature

Issue No. 5

The White Review No. 5 Editorial

The Editors

feature

Issue No. 5

One of the two editors of The White Review recently committed a faux pas by reacting with undisguised and indeed...

Art

June 2013

NEOLOGISM: How words do things with words

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi

Art

June 2013

A version of this paper was delivered at the Global Art Forum at Art Dubai in March 2013. The...

Interview

October 2013

Interview with Chris Petit

Hannah Gregory

Interview

October 2013

Chris Petit likes driving. Most of his films, from his first Radio On (1979), to London Orbital (with Iain...

 

Get our newsletter

 

* indicates required