poetry

Pax

Richard Kenney

So, Love, when that celebrated clarifier,
Chemotherapy, calls back—for us,

this time, with his white, apologetic smile,
his porcelain saucers of carbolic acid and lye,

his banker’s insistence on reality-based accounting,
well, we’ll want these chances back. The canting

hours, the fund of unkisses, the mind, unMidas-
like, immodest ever in miniature amidst

the molten metals of the morning, his brazing-iron
of petty anger held against the pure ore

of the already-gold world.

Richard Kenney is the author of Orrery, The Invention of the Zero, and One-Strand River: Poems 1994-2007. He teaches in the M.F.A. program at the University of Washington.
Originally published:
July 1, 2019

Featured

Essays

Race Off

The fantasy of race transformation
Namwali Serpell

Essays

Suicide in Fiction, Reconsidered

Why we need stories about living after a suicide attempt
Morgan Thomas

Conversations

Discipline and Abolish

Writing, power, and mass incarceration
Rachel Kushner,
Caleb Smith

You Might Also Like

Books

Incalculable Loss

How writing can help make sense of grief
Christopher Spaide

Poetry

Afterlife

Richard Kenney

Subscribe

Become a subscriber to get four beautiful issues a year for just $49—and help keep print culture alive.
Subscribe