Eliza Rotterman’s “to gallop finally into the Milky Way”

heading west: Kansas is the state of confessions, one of the eight poems included in “to gallop finally into the Milky Way” by Eliza Rotterman

heading west: Kansas is the state of confessions

How old were you when the belief that every individual is
special exposed its genitals then ran off into the woods
behind the school? As a child did you worry astronauts
would be lost in space? How often do you phone your
mother? Standing in the checkout line, do you silently
criticize the fat rounding out that poor girl’s waist? The one
holding the box of little chocolate donuts, a carton of milk
and a bag of Fritos? When you read, be here now, do you think
yes and feel the lightness of your being? When was the last
time you made love with your eyes open? The first time you
took advantage of someone else’s willingness? When you
look at photographs of refugees do you think suffering is
ironic? How many people do you think are having sex right
now in Kansas? If you could bring a loved-one back from
the dead, would you? When you’re walking in the city, how
often do you check yourself out? If you multiply that by the
total number of foreclosures in 2009, is that number more or
less than the hours spent defining acts of genocide in 1994? Is
art a matter of just making things up?
Give me your hand. We’re crossing the state line.

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