Modern Declaration – Edna St. Vincent Millay

I, having loved ever since I was a child a few things, never
having wavered
In these affections; never through shyness in the houses of the
rich or in the presence of clergymen· having denied these
loves;
Never when worked upon by cynics like chiropractors having
grunted or clicked a vertebra to the discredit of these
loves;
Never when anxious to land a job having diminished them by
a conniving smile; or when befuddled by drink
Jeered at them through heartache or lazily fondled the fingers
of their alert enemies; declare

That I shall love you always.
No matter what party is in power;
No matter what temporarily expedient combination of allied
interests wins the war;
Shall love you always.

The Cave – Paul Tran

Someone standing at the mouth had
the idea to enter. To go further

than light or language could
go. As they followed
the idea, light and language followed

like two wolves—panting, hearing themselves
panting. A shapeless scent
in the damp air …

Keep going, the idea said.

Someone kept going. Deeper and deeper, they saw
others had been there. Others had left

objects that couldn’t have found their way
there alone. Ocher-stained shells. Bird bones. Grounded
hematite. On the walls,

as if stepping into history, someone saw
their purpose: cows. Bulls. Bison. Deer. Horses—
some pregnant, some slaughtered.

The wild-
life seemed wild and alive, moving

when someone moved, casting their shadows
on the shadows stretching
in every direction. Keep going,

the idea said again. Go …

Someone continued. They followed the idea so far inside that
outside was another idea.