Excerpts from Agnes the Elephant


In the future is an eyeball. In the future is a potato. In the future is a stadium. In the future is an airport. Everything is moving everywhere, and fast, but only in straight lines in the future. Also in the future is space. Things come apart and fit back together so easily in space in the future. Ive never looked as closely at anyone as I have looked at you in the future. You are a cell there. And did you know I am a cell there too? I am a cell there too. And if you look even further, in the future: a hundred happy families dying together on a tram. In the future there is no beginning because we are too far to see it. We are so small. We are so so small. We sew. We move boxes. We plug things in.


I can hear you saying something from a ferris wheel. Im eating an orange in a little boat on the salty sea. Where weve put our bodies so far seems senseless. We make wishes into the super-moon, then we wait. I am a girl and you are a boy. Its the same thing. What I mean is, we both make lists with one thing on them. Mine is I just want to untie you.


Ive been feeling it is important for me to do what is not right. When I said I was wrong, I was wrong. I was wrong from the moment I opened my mouth, from the moment it opened even for the very first time, and from the moment even before that. This is that feeling. It is a feeling of feeling right feeling wrong. I was a girl, holding a leash, with a wolf in it, and in its mouth was a white bird, flapping frantically its wet red wings in the wolfs red fangs. A bird is just another fucking thing.


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Zachary Schomburg is the author of a forthcoming book of poems, The Book of Joshua (Black Ocean), and three earlier collections, The Man Suit (2007), Scary, No Scary (2009), and Fjords vol. 1 (2012). He is also working on a book of french translations and a graphic novel. He co-does Octopus Books and co-curates the Bad Blood Reading Series where he lives in Portland, OR.