Veronica Kornberg

SUDDENLY

No one was funny anymore.
No one’s eyes crinkled above their masks.
We ate the same dinner every night on the sofa.
The word racist blared from the end of conspiracist.
The lucky ones lined up for a needle in the arm.
The unlucky ones lined up for a box of food.
One friend languished for weeks in the ICU.
Another friend lost three teeth. Narcissus
popped from the ground overnight, laded the air
with a heavy scent that confused us, then people
flooded the streets because some men
had carried a steer-leather ball through a phalanx
of other men who grabbed their ankles, buried them
under a mound of thighs and torsos. It was something
to cheer about. When no one was looking, the children
slipped into middle age. We thought about cutting
our hair with the poultry shears. We stroked the chestnut
feathers of a bird that smacked into the window.


kornberg2 Veronica Kornberg is a poet based in the town of Pescadero, on the Central Coast of California. Recipient of the Morton Marcus Poetry Prize, and nominee for Best of the Net, and Best New Poets, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Indiana Review, Spillway, Tar River Poetry, Salamander, Radar Poetry, Crab Creek Review, Whale Road Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Meridian, Swwim Every Day, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Mom Egg Review, Catamaran Literary Reader, New Ohio Review, The New Guard, Menacing Hedge, The Shore, and numerous other journals. Veronica is a Peer Reviewer for Whale Road Review in 2021. She is currently at work on her first book of poems.

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