Two Poems by Elizabeth Onusko





Most of the decisions I make are unconscious. This is a conscious decision.
You assume insanity. Empathic collapse. You are wrong, but understandably so.
You, the ambassador of reason. You, in denial about your dynastic tendencies.
Listen to me: facts take sides. Facts take up arms. Facts take aim at close range.
You wear a cross, kiss it when no one is looking. The truth is I choose to love you.






Can you look directly at me and withstand seeing. My manifold ailments.
My untreatable mutations. Go ahead, stare instead at the spectacle of your memory.
On that stage, fog from a machine. Dancers in gray body suits fainting and reviving.
The dialogue barely audible, the plot disordered. Spotlights converging as I’m lifted
to the rafters by an invisible harness. From where you sit, it appears that I’m flying.







Elizabeth Onusko is the author of Portrait of the Future with Trapdoor, which received the Bryant-Lisembee Book Prize and was published by Red Paint Hill in spring 2016. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in WitnessBest New Poets 2015Conduit, DIAGRAM, Sixth Finch, and Redivider, among others. She is the editor of Foundry and assistant editor of inter|rupture. Her website is

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