Virginia Konchan

Musée des Beaux Arts 
October 25, 2022 Konchan Virginia

Musée des Beaux Arts 


Look at the science, already.
I’m looking at the science:
it says we’re all going to die.
Reality will invariably fuck you.
By authentic do you mean good,
or like how they do it, from afar?
Whatever choices I made last night
were clearly not the right choices,
because of how I don’t feel today,
languishing among the Old Masters,
damask draperies, marble statuary:
entry via my expired student card.
The crowd pays homage to history,
whose vanishing point and horizon
line is time:  imagine I’m the guide.
Do I tell you about the anatomy
as if it’s dispassionate reportage
or do I tell you about the plasma
within it:  still quivering, alive?
You get the body you earn in life,
not the body you want or deserve.
Listen to those birds outside:
they can’t contain themselves.
As Rihanna said, use your words.
Sitting down and breathing is also an option.
A headless, winged victory is still a victory.
The miracle’s not the birth, but the return.

The author of four poetry collections, Bel Canto (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2022), Hallelujah Time (Véhicule Press, 2021), Any God Will Do and The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon, 2020 and 2018), a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017), and four chapbooks, as well as coeditor of the craft anthology Marbles on the Floor: How to Assemble a Book of Poems (University of Akron Press, 2023), Virginia Konchan‘s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, and The Believer.