Victoria Nostra

Of the arts, only two remain: the documentary and the fragment.
Trying to hide the author’s mind doesn’t atone for weakness.

Marshmallow fluff and peanut butter are as thick in the mouth
As this sedimentary gunk in typewriter font on the internet.

Have you heard? We’re allowed again to love the representative. 
Finally. Who can tear their eyes from Henry’s blackwork sleeves?

Each employer from here to Mars inherits the mark of the nobleman:
Bad breath, sweat stains, having skimmed the Sparknotes on Wittgenstein.

In your mind’s eye you copy the Feldhase—whiskers and ears, with a single-haired brush—
You also maintain eye contact so the prince is sure you care.

Sure, I’ll live my life scooted around by moneyed people—
But I won’t jump for every twit who wants a bottle of wine.

Our servant hides in the cellar: table for one, a plate of baby hen,
Holding her tasting glass to the light, a portly, happy monk:

And now she greets our victory—nearly nude with a shepherd’s cross.
And the Agnus Dei is cute! Let’s get a closer look at those gams.

Amanda Smeltz is the author of Imperial Bender, her debut poetry collection. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Prelude, [PANK], and Barrow Street, with non-fiction appearing in Esquire. She was a 2021 writing fellow at The Mastheads in Pittsfield, MA. Smeltz lives and works in New York City.

IG: @smeltzmonger