Pre-Elegy
Elizabeth Metzger
In the first year without laughter
what hasn't ever happened hasn't—yet.

A box opens in the stillness
tranquil as any other wish-you-were-here.

In one minute of too much trouble,
everyone who blows an eyelash discloses

a gun. Nobody learns to drive.
Tired girls take drugs to sleep, are dragged

through collective dreams
where the mind is nowhere to be found.

A past thought is ordered and refused.
Someone, for everyone, won’t change.

Elizabeth Metzger’s first collection, The Spirit Papers, won the 2016 Juniper Prize and will be published by University of Massachusetts Press in Winter 2017. Her chapbook The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death is forthcoming from Horsethief Books. Her poetry has recently appeared in The New YorkerBest New Poets 2015The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She is the Poetry Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal. 


more by Elizabeth Metzger:
Never Bedtime
Lucid Dreaming Within Biological Clock
Anticipatory Miscarriage
Via Negativa