It’s a matter of not coming back
when you say you won’t come back,
of dousing the fire luck and happenstance
made. The reaper turned out to be lively,
tossing out ripostes like burgers at
a fundraiser for teens. O deliquescent
one. I hold you the way one rides
a mechanical bull, a good grip
and a wave of bandana besides.
The echo chamber is in flames, Whitney,
the think tank, too, and we are asked
to skip merrily through the parade.
That I could spur you: that I could wake
you: that I could call you and that you
would answer by any other name.

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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 Empire of Dirt (above/ground press, 2019), VIRGINIA KONCHAN's poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Boston Review, and elsewhere.

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