If the heart is a temple,
each statue will be broken.
But I have practiced idolatry:
loved the creature more than
the creator, whom I can’t see.
There’s a hole where the sun
should be. It has entered me,
along with the cloud and river.
I am like an actor, requesting
for their character to be killed.
Can life be had, unmediated?
Turning away and touching
are both wrong, raging fires.
Forms of quest and deferral,
rooms of angels and ghosts.
It takes me a day to recall
the old melodies, pitched
timbrels of lute and lyre.
It’s only vulgar to speak
about money if you have
none: same with desire.
Addictive technologies,
the myths and metaphors
we fail to adequately serve.
I touch my uterus, not really.
A patina of dust settles quietly
over the assembled memories.
To put it delicately, there is no
greater way. To put it delicately,
the price of love is always grief.
Have a great weekend. I’m fine.
I open my hymnal: by the time
the waves reach you, they will
no longer be waves, reformed
into proportions of My design.


Virginia Konchan is the author of four poetry collections and a collection of short stories, and co-editor of the craft anthology Marbles on the Floor: How to Assemble a Book of Poems. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Atlantic, American Poetry Review, and The Believer.

[Purchase Issue 26 here.]


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