Get our latest essays, archival selections, reading lists, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
God Save the Queen
Dear Media State and your
I am, how you say, done.
Done drama. Done infomerical.
Done cortisone shot to the brain.
Done General Hospital, done
As the World Turns, done Days
of Our Lives, done horse dung,
Daddy Warbucks, and speed.
Where, Pentecostal Lord,
is my acre to hoe, my tiara,
my land of honeyed mead?
Self-portrait in a concave mirror:
late for my own funereal destiny.
Three little birds on my doorstep.
The last tree standing, in Calvary.
• • •
Let’s go on a date! Let’s make a joke
of the MEAL PART, wadding our napkins
into strangled swans, and ordering only
shoestring fries with malt vinegar,
like freaks meeting for the first time
in a diner empty save for other night-owl
weirdos with bad manners, would do.
Jesus, my incarnate Lord and Savior,
is suffering from representational fatigue.
His plaster mosaic ikon heart is dripping
with blood, or is that colored polyurethane?
Someone tear down that 2-D arcadia panorama,
that false idyll, that made-for-tv nativity scene.
Ambassador of Hell, your not-so-secret
intelligence is killing my will-to-mean.
Virginia Konchan is the author of three poetry collections, Hallelujah Time (Véhicule Press, 2021), Any God Will Do, and The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2020 and 2018); a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017); and four chapbooks, as well as coeditor (with Sarah Giragosian) of the craft anthology Marbles on the Floor: How to Assemble a Book of Poems (University of Akron Press, 2022). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Best New Poets, The Believer, and The New Republic.
Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, Monthly Roundup, and event notifications.
But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.
Protests in China are shining a light not only on the country’s draconian population management but restrictions on workers everywhere.