Social Contract Theory

Elizabeth Onusko

When a plague unleashes itself upon the country,
we bolt our doors

and pretend not to hear
what hymns the dying sing.

Instead, we imagine the moment the first person
who counted a second counted it

because living in the world as it is now
is a horrifying idea.

Their eyes are compass roses
on maps of lost cities.

If we could picture islands resurfacing,
if we could see arms waving on the shore.

There is no more beautiful sight than a rescue boat,
than a hand pulling another hand aboard.