Two Poems by Virginia Konchan


Object Lessons

Genitalia, at rest, is so sad.
What if, in a dystopic future,
abstinence education became
a thing, like gendered nouns?
I would wilt, like a spinster
who hasn’t been caressed
since the reign of Genghis Khan.
I love sex, like I love switching up the
syntactical placement of adjectives.
Sometimes my front door bangs shut
from the wind. It terrorizes my cats.
Would that I could slam the door
so easily on this, on language, on you.



My subject position? I am slavish,
in need of calcium. My metaphysical
commitments? I wish to visit Sentier, a neighborhood
in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, historically
a multicultural textile and garment manufacturing district;
there I will wrap myself in a swath of chartreuse spider silk
and never emerge. Religion?
A breeze is benediction. Work ethic?
All hands on deck. If, in the age of post-industrial calamity,
we must choose between fight or flight,
I am not aware of that. I am not aware of most choices.
I pay my taxes. I am prone to bruise. Is nothing worthy?
No, you are not quoting from Wikipedia. Yes, I am.
If I must choose my own adventure, I choose the adventure of refusing food.
I choose ritual suicide, time as a luxury good, pointillism,
the art of becoming a blur or a drone. But life?
I’m feeling none of the feels, except the desire to be alone.


About the Author:

Author of a book of poetry, The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon, 2018), a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017), and two chapbooks, including That Tree is Mine (dancing girl press, 2017), Virginia Konchan’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Boston Review, and elsewhere. She is co-founder of Matter, a journal of poetry and political commentary, and Associate Editor for Tupelo Quarterly. She teaches at Marist College.