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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.