Devotional and Aside

My emperor
is shameless
beauty not
bounty the
eye more
keen the form
inimitable so
though we
have little we
marvel at all.
I’m circumspect
about night-
shade and glare
will seize
focus lift
your face as
colors simulate
the midday sun
in the arctic
circle a scrim
of white
gold across
the visible
I don’t want
an illusion a
distraction no
matter how
Tell me
about the
banal I
what that
looks like.


Brianna Noll is the author of The Era of Discontent, forthcoming from Elixir Press in 2021, and The Price of Scarlet (University Press of Kentucky, 2017), which was named one of the top poetry books of 2017 by the Chicago Review of Books. She is poetry editor of The Account, which she helped found, and her poems and translations have appeared widely in journals, including the Kenyon Review OnlineThe Georgia ReviewPrairie SchoonerCrazyhorse, and Waxwing. She lives in Los Angeles.

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