Mundus Novus

The Season of No Mirrors.
The Season of Hide and Seek.

Of Haunting. Of Clocks
Unwound. Of Straightening

the Spine. The favorite
of the young: Season of No

Silence. The favorite of no one:
Season of Cramped Hands

and Carpal Tunnel. Seasons
can be very short. And fickle.

If we’re lucky, No Sleep lasts
one day, one night. And then

there is the blessed Season
of Quiet Thoughts, ironically

usually succeeded by Gratuitous
Vigilance. Underneath the seasons

lie the times, it all gets very
complicated, and there are many

calendars. Time of Dogs Chewing
through Leads. Headstrong Time.

Unknotting Time. Time for
Discarding Objects and Forswearing

Vices. Accident Time. Starving
Time. Gravedigging Time.

Autobiographical Time.
Otherwise known as Unnecessary

Confessions. Lately things
have been changing as Hatred

parades down the avenues,
and no one is sure who is in

charge or how to stop it, or
whether it should be stopped.

Perhaps this confusion is itself
a season. In the meantime,

also the Season of Waiting
to Return Even If You Have Not

Left. Of Mute Songbirds. Of Bitter
Foods. Of Tinnitus. Of Melting

Ice. Of Refusing Rescue. Of
Wantonness at War with Shame.

In the Time to Prepare
the Heart to Receive News

of Deliverance, I lie awake
anticipating Lost Words

Restored to the Tongue.
I’ve heard it’s on its way,

though maybe that’s only
a rumor founded in False Hopes—

the season we always discern
too late.


Elisa Gonzalez is a queer Puerto Rican writer raised in the Midwest. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Barrow Street, Lambda Literary, Mississippi Review, Narrative, Prelude, Tin House Open Bar, and elsewhere. A graduate of Yale University and the New York University creative writing program, she has received support from the Norman Mailer Foundation and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is a Fulbright Scholar in creative writing and lives in Warsaw, Poland.