contemplation on things that won’t stay still

by | Issue #2, Issues

there’s a toilet in the park bathroom
that won’t stop flushing. before the

water has a chance to resolve itself
into a mirror, centripetal force

interrupts. humankind’s eternal
search for vanity is undermined

only by life’s yet stronger imposition
of humility. sewer pipes ferry piss

and shit to their damnation,
all the meanwhile saving the bearer

the dignity of confronting their humanity
in visceral terms. yesterday, i stared

in awe and peed in the neighboring
toilet while listening to the flood,

wondering who was braver than i
or perhaps more cowardly. what practice

lends one the hubris to crouch
so close to hell without concern

of peripheral consumption? the purgatorial
state of ambivalence seems a worse fate.

i couldn’t bear
forgetting myself so quickly.


the glass in my windows is old. i can
tell because the trees outside move

without will or breeze. the clouds
flex and crack in their atmospheric flight

through time, a child’s dinosaur.
a city’s downfall. a history teacher

once told me glass was a slow-moving
liquid: the molecules are on a slow

march toward the center
of the earth to sanctify their molten

destiny: a rotund fate predetermined
by the specific pitch and decibel

of entire continents shifting
to get comfortable before settling

into rest. what was magic,
from any other angle, remains

gravity. much like any other, my warped
view can be blamed on human

design. when wet, wood expands. like a
marionette, the glass is compelled to dance.

Makenna Dykstra (she/her) is currently a graduate student pursuing an MA in English Literature at Tulane University in New Orleans. She can often be found on Twitter @makdykstra or in the local parks, writing, reading, or admiring the oak trees.