You lead me to that place 
where addicts give themselves up. 
I have given myself to the linear     to 
the straight line. 

No longer turning. 
No longer considering 
that which could 
have occurred. 

I’m a rocket blasting into 
the unknowable. 
No more pondering     forever 
heavy     forever sick with it. 

No longer booming fados. 
Or sitting in rooms with suicidal 
guitarists plucking sunrise. 
No more addiction among addicts. 

I’m confessing this to them. 
They are moaning. 
They are asking me to leave. 
I leave you here. 

From Aurora Americana (Princeton University Press, 2023) by Myronn Hardy. Copyright © 2023 by Myronn Hardy. Used with the permission of the publisher.

Note the diameter of your invisible ink tattoo as if it hides
a crossword hint like “Clueless dope for dopamine”
But not because your inner twin sold all your Rap albums
for a white powder that made you feel touched by God, yet
left a trail like Comet. Note how a certain name trails off with
the number e to perhaps signify their constant interest in
a continuously growing silence. Does an infinite series
of silences imply addition or addiction? In one language
you understand, pegadu means touching and begins with
the letter P. Like Pi is filled with touches of fruitful irrationality,
and may hide a circle’s Private Key. Note how rumors of you
crossing the street to sneak rides on fire trucks are irrational, but
not because you’re vain or became a pyromaniac. The circumference
of urinal cakes may be solved with Pi or dissolved with pee.
Is it irrational that you looped like an extension cord while trying
to solve for the value of P, but got beat like a bowl of egg yolks
for wetting the bed? During the beating was their mouth agápē or
agape? Has it not been proven that trauma only feels transcendental
due to the ratio of the diameter which severs us to the circumference
which makes us a whole? Being born under the Sign of the Asp might
be key, but note that a Volta can turn in currents of a Ghanaian river
or in currents alternating like a weathervane until any cryptic tattoo
could simply signify who held you down and touched you, but also
told you to hold it forever because their love was like the Holy Ghost.

Copyright © 2022 by Joel Dias-Porter. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 3, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

I’m staring out the window, but this is not my father’s depression

recalling fist fights I had in common with the masses
            and being stared down by the non-homeless in disgust

waiting for the ink to dry on smog come down

                                             flesh of my flesh

My father died tired of my pain

Cotton comes to the family structure

See me now 
a window-apparition 
of a Bantu pope 
on the right side of power

I went to my maker only to find God
            playfully singing, “. . . my back will be to you too”

retelling of ambulance-found language

A soldier’s handling of body image
Or the gist of candlelight

the community is now jumping
throwing Baldwin his books
as he sits on the rafters taking requests
saying, “Gather around. I will set the sun for you.”

over outstretched hands of standard incarceration 

Copyright © 2023 by Tongo Eisen-Martin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 20, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.