Laura Kasischke’s poem “Miss Congeniality” appeared in NER 26.4 (2005):
There’s a name given
after your death
and a name you must answer to while you’re alive.
Like flowers, my friends—nodding, nodding. My
enemies, like space, drifting
praised my face, my enunciation, and the power
I freely relinquished, and the fires
burning in the basements
of my churches,
and the pendulums swinging
above my towers.