In fourth grade, I never told anyone
I thought I was pregnant
with the Holy Spirit’s baby,
another boy whose life would be
hard and short and heroic
because what little I had learned of history
was that men were the saviors,
the exception being Joan of Arc
who trusted the voices in her head
and was killed. After dinner every night,
my family watched a war on live TV,
the video-game red of scud missiles
scoring a black sky
an incomprehensible distance away.
Years later, I worked with a man
who had fought in that war
but didn’t speak of it.
Once, in the break room, as he
slipped coins into a vending machine,
I saw his shadow rise
and enter him.
Elizabeth Onusko's "Incarnate" can be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 3.
Elizabeth Onusko is the author of Portrait of the Future with Trapdoor (Red Paint Hill, 2016). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Witness, Best New Poets 2015, Bennington Review, Fugue, Poetry Northwest, and Southern Humanities Review, among others. She is the editor of Foundry and assistant editor of inter|rupture. Her website is elizabethonusko.com.