Virginia Konchan

Two Poems


I am in love with the way I see the world,
but I am all alone there.

None of this matters.
We make our meek adjustments:

we barter body parts for wine.
All ecstasy is vertiginous.

There are times when I listened
and heard no one saying no.

Learn the errata of the mouth.
Learn the lesson of the pioneer.

O eros, put away your bully stick.
O liberty, put away your crown.

My body does the burning:
it’s a kind of winning.

I am the loneliest planet,
a vacancy sign hung askew

at a claptrap, seedy motel:
my flesh is all I know.

You open your mouth wide enough
for me to crawl in and speak.

If there is a place further from me
I beg you do not go.


Carpe Noctem

Because the veil was lifted.
Because the dog has rabies.
Because the soul sleepwalks into a mirror
and our desire is increased by difficulty.
Because disappointment is an obstacle,
like longing, like fate.
Because I died young and beautiful.
Because I will not die young and beautiful.
Because mother tongue, motherland, motherlode.
Because peace offering. Small pittance. Precious geode.
Because the domesticated animal is exhausted,
drapes its limp body across a stretch of cement.
Because I don’t want to historicize my feelings.
Because without the world’s innumerable
fungal varieties, we’d be fucked,
as without fungi, we’d soon be
knee-deep in dead leaves that
refused to rot: trees, too,
would lie where they fell.
Because crops would fail
and farm animals die,
unable to digest grass.
Because outside, the magnolia is in bloom.
There will be no restitution,
because I could not stop for death.
Because what you wanted, I wanted that for you.

Virginia Konchan is the author of two poetry collections, Any God Will Do (Carnegie Mellon, 2020) and The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon, 2018), a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017), and three chapbooks, including The New Alphabets (Anstruther Press, 2019).