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  You could have a big dipper   

Just Ask Margaret Wolfe Hungerford by Christine Naprava


This is not beauty.

And she?

She is not beautiful.

And he?

He is not beautiful either.

You’ve seemed to confuse beauty

with the trill way down low

in your gut,

and your gut

with the tangle of cables

tangling in your head,

and your brain

with whatever steers you,

organ or Above.

There are more organs now

than ever before,

as reported by the CDC:

organs sinking fast

in pools of viscous blood,

organs shimmering

in the face of your sun,

organs in Pantone Color of the Year,

2021 and 2020.

These organs are

strewn everywhere,

halved and whole

and quartered,

pinned to the graffitied

bathroom walls of bars,

idling on street corners

in cities near you,

packed onto the floor of the

New York Stock Exchange,

left behind in Lyfts and Ubers

as carelessly as the wallets

none of us need

now that our currency

is light as air,

now that our currency

is air.

It’s ten PM,

do you know where

your organs are?

That’ll be our lullaby,

the message blasted

from our phones

as we lose sleep,

lose hair,

lose teeth,

bang heads against walls,

break down walls

so that our heads

no longer have

anything to bang into.

The organs will be everywhere

come 2022.

Everyone will have an organ

by May of 2021,

as per the President.

The Above will go out of style.

The cables will inevitably knot,

asphyxiating what needs

to be asphyxiated

and asphyxiating what

we’re still working on

when the waiter’s hand

goes to grab our plate.

The trill that lives and dies

in every gut−

I regret to inform you that

once it’s gone, it’s really gone.

And the beauty I speak of−

it hasn’t been

in the eye of the beholder

since 1878,

the beauty hasn’t been

in the eye of the beholder,

the beauty hasn’t been

in the eye,

the beauty hasn’t been.


Christine Naprava (she/her) is a writer from South Jersey. Her work has appeared in Soundings East and Studio One. She tweets @CNaprava and Instagrams @cnaprava

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