In the foreign lexicon,
there is a word for space.

It opens, and
carpenter ants file out,

forward momentum
of the villain and the god.

Middle-class ennui
lacks stakes.

What will advance the plot,
save for Archimedes’ proof,

the caves of Lascaux,
an iridescent fly?

Dead, I burrow deeply
in the earth’s soft trough.

I awaken to a two-car
garage, flanked by

a four-bedroom colonial,
and above it all—the

mirage of affluence—
a blue, all-sheltering sky.



Virginia Konchan is the author of a collection 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). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, and Best New Poets, and her honors include an NEH fellowship and an Illinois Arts Council Award. Co-founder of Matter, a journal of poetry and political commentary, and Associate Editor for Tupelo Quarterly, she teaches at Marist College.