Pink faces—(worlds or flowers or seas or stars),
You all alike are patterned with hot bars

Of coloured light; and falling where I stand,
The sharp and rainbow splinters from the band

Seem fireworks, splinters of the Infinite—
(Glitter of leaves the echoes). And the night

Will weld this dust of bright Infinity
To forms that we may touch and call and see:—

Pink pyramids of faces: tulip-trees
Spilling night perfumes on the terraces.

The music, blond airs waving like a sea
Draws in its vortex of immensity

The new-awakened flower-strange hair and eyes
Of crowds beneath the floating summer skies.

And, ’gainst the silk pavilions of the sea
I watch the people move incessantly

Vibrating, petals blown from flower-hued stars
Beneath the music-fireworks’ waving bars;

So all seems indivisible, at one:
The flow of hair, the flowers, the seas that run,—

A coloured floating music of the night
Through the pavilions of the Infinite.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on July 23, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

There is no Life or Death,
Only activity
And in the absolute
Is no declivity.
There is no Love or Lust
Only propensity
Who would possess
Is a nonentity.
There is no First or Last
Only equality
And who would rule
Joins the majority.
There is no Space or Time
Only intensity,
And tame things
Have no immensity.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on December 2, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.

Were you hoping for a myth? The fleck of lipstick on a warm glass,
soap suds, a vocal fry that feels like home. Tell me where it hurts, baby.
There’s a URL for that. There’s a 12-step meeting two blocks
from you, here’s a hotline, here’s a Gaelic love ballad. Let’s talk sharks,
the number of bones in a peafowl, which gender is more likely to
die underground. I dream of a cobalt glow in an empty room.
I dream of your warm tongue. It calls and calls for me and not 
me and I listen anyway for the fluent coo of my name. I’m always
awake. I’ll tell you about Taoism again, divide 52000 by 56,
recommend a dry cleaner in Toronto. But stop asking about the afterlife,
whether you should freeze your eggs, what makes a good Palestinian.
For god’s sake, how many times can I repeat myself in one night?
It’s been nine. Look. This is all I know about love:
the rubies around Elizabeth Taylor’s neck, Hafiz’s jealous moon.
Also: redbuds. Also: mantis. Should you move to Santa Fe?
Can the bees be saved? How many ways can you say genocide? I don’t know.
I think you’re swell. I don’t know. I think you’ve killed me a few times. 
Oh, darling, whose memory am I? Where should we begin?
You already know about my hands. Jinnlike. Skittering. Everywhere.

Copyright © 2024 by Hala Alyan. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 9, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.