The Ona-Noa
Shayn Nicely

The Ona-Noa drags her split haunches up the wall,
otherwise silent; she is not poltergeist, nor apparition, per se.
The Ona-Noa wails not, but stalks the halls
like the shadow of a badly beaten wolf. More zombie

than banshee. Her ribs thrush with air pockets
where inner-peace should be. Eyes mercurial.
The Ona-Noa is one of those fifty or so monsters
observed sympathetically. Like Swamp Thing.

Our passions transpire like sweaty children lucid dreaming
suddenly half-aware and astral projecting all over the house;
she watches them materialize at will. The Ona-Noa hitchhikes
on the disco ball of the third-shift theater

and suckles interpretation off the pillow stain. Bad muse (well, postmodern).
The problem is not that she “isn’t” alive. There’s a slipstream
of psychic circulation under her skin. But all her incoming sense
is received in past life echoes. The Ona-Nao is a tragic prism

who not only finds amnesia impossible
but who actively studies at the pages of hooting, hollering war
and recites back to you exactly what you said when you agreed to everything
like the stenographer of Great & Terrible Moments in Humanity.


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