Brianna Noll 

Hearsay

In the last shudder

of an aching year

voices clamor to be

heard to say what

anxious flowers

in the locus of defeat

and hope. The artists

say beauty makes

fear tremble makes

the earth imperceptibly

hitch. The ladies on the

coasts say your lettuces

and your swans say

everything about your

inner life. The ladies

in the heartland say

it’s your petri dishes

and your cultures

that do all the talking.

Somewhere an electronic

voice says you are

the experience

and somewhere

else another

electronic voice

says you are a

shell of a person

beautiful and millennial

pink. When the leaders

say boys will be boys

will be heard these

are the times when

an imposter can say

they love you truly

and you do not

hesitate to believe them.

Brianna Noll is the author of The Era of Discontent, forthcoming from Elixir Press in 2021, and The Price of Scarlet (University Press of Kentucky, 2017), which was named one of the top poetry books of 2017 by the Chicago Review of Books. She is poetry editor of The Account, which she helped found, and her poems and translations have appeared widely in journals, including the Kenyon Review Online, The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse and Waxwing. She lives in Los Angeles.

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