E L I Z A B E T H   O N U S K O

Elizabeth Onusko is the author of Portrait of the Future with Trapdoor, which won the Bryant-Lisembee Book Prize and will be published by Red Paint Hill in spring 2016. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Witness, Best New Poets 2015, Redivider, The Journal, and Southern Humanities Review, among others. She is assistant editor of inter|rupture. Her website is elizabethonusko.com

C A L I B R A T E



​In a vault outside of Paris,
in a bell jar 
inside of a bell jar
inside of a bell jar, 
a platinum-iridium alloy
quietly decays
and we collectively agree
it’s a kilogram
and against it calibrate
every scale in the world,
including the one
on which she was placed
a minute after she was born,
the first currents of air 
passing over her skin
and what must 
her fingers have felt
when she touched
her own body,
who it had become.

​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L