On Agency

Every story begins
in rupture: ice falling

from the sky, a mountain
that convulses with smoke.

Didn’t they teach that all
earthly plots mirror

what wheels in the skies
overhead? The king lies

unseeing in his cold, hard
bed. No one can rouse him.

And the queen? Deranged
by all her losses, she travels

the countryside, promoting
her new line of black and white

clothing, her gospel of stark
forms. The land can only mourn:

weeping shriveled kernels of grain,
pouring poison into the throats of fish.

I never understood why the antidote
to stasis should be more stasis: standing

motionless while predator birds circle
and sniff, make as if to peck out your eyes,

tear your face to shreds. The Beloved says,
No, they are meant to teach patience. With all

my heart I love the Beloved too, but also
I believe in the potency of weapons. I have

but a few: given the right conditions, some
of them could singe, some of them could burn.


In response to Via Negativa: Mare Frigoris.

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