small victories                                  small wars

a famous person

played chess in the woods

whatever repeats                  whatever

input we have          a disappearing

that knows how to proceed                                    

local realities            made up

exclusively                 of their own grammar         

but only if their grammar

is voluntary               

victorious feelings                 without victory         

sam calls                     our teams are playing         

we are getting older             can only hope           

for a beautiful result





is a truth that conveys

no information                              a local

threat                                               a distant                    

possibility                                       autoplay                    

tabs on tabs on tabs

I buy the hat              that my bitmoji had

in a threat of forests             a savant

of anger                      a savant of nothing

to be angry about

a hierarchy                of satisfactions

the next activity                   

the best distraction              

it’s never too late                  to stay the same  



                           very few things

are not






the body reacts

                           to what reacts

                           to it

a sort of           


             a kind

                       of loyalty

Copyright © 2019 by Chris Tonelli. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 16, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.