by Becka Mara McKay
The president wants a military parade. I’ve begun to carry my heart in my toes. Enlightenment was never meant to be a medal pinned over the sins of our forebears. I’d like to find a story so old it starts with cave-dwelling ancestors who drew buffalo heads on the walls because the surface demanded it. That dust was my mother, says your enemy. Sometimes a mistake banks its flames beneath the cloth and broken crockery we use to hide it. Painter, can we pretend we finished this together? No one can say we didn’t. The children of deadbeats kindly request a favor from the faithful: Please stop breaking the necks of firstborn donkeys in our name.
Becka Mara McKay is a poet and translator. She directs the Creative Writing MFA at Florida Atlantic University, where she serves as faculty advisor to Swamp Ape Review. Recent work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Copper Nickel, Muzzle, Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, and Post Road. Her newest book of poems, The Little Book of No Consolation, is forthcoming from Barrow Street Press in spring 2021.