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A Public Body

Laura Cronk

We came upon a mass grave uncovered.
The bodies after years had turned to pound sized stones,

Or jewels, smooth as glass and heavy.
They were puckered on either end like mouths.

This was what happened to the ones who suffered,
who had been saints and were killed.

The governing body doesn't love
the small parts of this body.

Looking my own sadism in the mirror.
The government I run. A little being

chewed its own feet off and died in agony,
the chemicals of escape used up.

Putting a screaming being into a plastic bag.
My governance. Trash barrels, when upended,

dump small, weighty stones. I should forfeit my standing.
I still go on picnics with people who kid around.

Who fool each other with basketballs,
trip each other up. I lied, I'm not all grass

and honey for you. A woman waiting under a lonely tree,
fresh from the solitude of that.

I should be ready to sit at the massive table,
share the evening, begin a fair kingdom, private.

I should prepare to load my bags
to visit the dying and the dead.

I could choose patience, bear suffering, sing quietly
to a sorrowful donkey, prepare suffering through my body.

But it's late and I've become for sure,
a terrible queen. Cruel out of laziness.

I eat everything I want. All that I've seen
consumed and gone.

I'm a terrible single ruler. Blind and fat. Eating delicacies
that are the deaths of poor, soft things. I eat them up.

Laura Cronk

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