Everyone I ever loved is standing 
on a platform with a gun. 

In the cartoon version, a flag pops 
with the word 'bang.' 

In the soap opera version, 
my face turns the color of merlot. 

In the haiku version, 
metal gleams in the narrow shadow.

In the Republican version, 
two guns wrap themselves in a single flag.

In the Langpo version.
idolatry yips yaps paradigm the. 

In my diary version,
I wonder why everyone hates me.

In the indie film version,  
a gun flickers over a mumbled tune.

In the Chekhov version, 
(well, you already know.) 

In the 10 o'clock news version,
the crisis in violence is rising.

In the action film version,
a shot means profits are rolling.

In the catalog version,
the smoke's hue is a burnished moss. 

In the teen movie version,
a nerdy gun removes her glasses.

In the lucid dream version,
I kiss a muzzle and it blossoms.

In the music video version,
a gun turns into a mouth.

Copyright © 2010 by Joanna Fuhrman. Used with permission of the author.

Everyone I ever loved is standing 
on a platform with a gun. 

In the cartoon version, a flag pops 
with the word 'bang.' 

In the soap opera version, 
my face turns the color of merlot. 

In the haiku version, 
metal gleams in the narrow shadow.

In the Republican version, 
two guns wrap themselves in a single flag.

In the Langpo version.
idolatry yips yaps paradigm the. 

In my diary version,
I wonder why everyone hates me.

In the indie film version,  
a gun flickers over a mumbled tune.

In the Chekhov version, 
(well, you already know.) 

In the 10 o'clock news version,
the crisis in violence is rising.

In the action film version,
a shot means profits are rolling.

In the catalog version,
the smoke's hue is a burnished moss. 

In the teen movie version,
a nerdy gun removes her glasses.

In the lucid dream version,
I kiss a muzzle and it blossoms.

In the music video version,
a gun turns into a mouth.

Copyright © 2010 by Joanna Fuhrman. Used with permission of the author.

The sun is lord of life and colour,
Blood of the rose and hyacinth,
Hair of the sea and forests,
Crown of the cornfields,
Body of the hills.
The moon is the harlot of Death,
Slaughterer of the sun,
Priestess and poisoner she goes
With all her silver flock of wandering souls,
Her chant of wailing waters,
The bed of shimmering dust from which she comes
Bound all around with bandages of mist….
The living are as blossoms and fruit on the tree,
The dead are as lilies and wind on the marshes;
The living are as cherries that bow to the morning
Beckoning to the loitering stranger,
The wind, to sing them his eerie ballads.
The dead are as frozen skeleton branches
Whereon the stillness perches like an owl….
The dead are as snow on the cherry orchard.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 28, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

From The Poems of Dylan Thomas, published by New Directions. Copyright © 1952, 1953 Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1937, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1967 the Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1938, 1939, 1943, 1946, 1971 New Directions Publishing Corp. Used with permission.

a name—a date—a place—a year—a day—a month—a century—an epoch—a season—a surname—
a middle initial—a first name—an occupation—a quote—a place to drop flowers—
a ridge of stone—a seed of bone—a mound—a knee bent to ground—a section—a locale—
a pastoral ridge—a road to drive to—a plot—a thickening—a tear—a tear—a lawn manicured—
a special tree—a special plea—a seclusion—a sedation—a seduction—a will—a testament—
a bridge—a finality—a cough—a recognizable sniffle—a special suit—a subdued tie—
a receding hair line—a brown shoe—a brown shoe—a black belt—a wedding ring—
a carnation—a pair of glasses—a handkerchief—a stiff upper lip—a stiff upper lip—
a flask—a memorial program—a church fan—a hearse’s engine—a white cloud overhead—
a fallen leaf—a sudden bird song—a sun in the branches—a nugget of dirt—a sprinkler—
a lawn mower—a funeral flag—a random bicyclist—a black gate—a black gait—a record—
a capacity—a requiem—a window—a windbag—a slight—a slip—a read—a reed—
a rhapsody—a lapel—a brush—a flaw—a spare—a sparkle—a spandex—a crown—a castanet—
a eulogy—a feud—a flood—a stamp—a cellular text—a sandwich—a candy bar—
a bag of nuts—a casserole—a potted plant—a creeping moss—a caterpillar—a cocoon—
a loose thread—a sweaty armpit—a cigarette stub—a loose quarter—a bottle of pills—
a veil—a hat band—a line of reasoning—a contract—a contact—a religious medal—
a lawyer—a widow—a survivor—a shovel—a pulley—a glove—a dog—a beetle—
a business card—a repass—a nickel—a sneeze—a cough—a lien—a reunion—
a genealogy—a claimant—a brick pathway—a curb—an abode—a body—a body—a body—

From Devonte Travels the Sorry Route (Omnidawn, 2019). Copyright © 2019 by T. J. Anderson III. Used with the permission of Omnidawn.

Devonte, think of it this way
              that the                             faces                              of gods                                                  

                                                     are hidden                                        in the bathroom orchids.

Believe you me                       I’ve seen them
  
                                                                     silently whispering through the shampoo smoke

        the aftershave offerings

                                                                                           that waft over our lady of the toilet

above the hydrogenous fissures                       we mistake for mouths
above                     the hand          that trembles

before unscrewing                                        the aspirin host
                                                                                                       above the mouthwash
with its undeniable

periwinkle for cleanliness
the commode gods are staring.

                                                                                               They are contemplating
                                                                                            your next awkward preamble.

They are waiting
to pounce forth from
the moan and sway
of your bowels,
eat away at you like
maggots devouring flesh.

From Devonte Travels the Sorry Route (Omnidawn, 2019). Copyright © 2019 by T. J. Anderson III. Used with the permission of Omnidawn.

Your breath was shed
Invisible to make
About the soiled undead
Night for my sake,

A raining trail
Intangible to them
With biter's tooth and tail
And cobweb drum,

A dark as deep
My love as a round wave
To hide the wolves of sleep
And mask the grave.

from The Poems of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1946 by New Directions Publishing Corporation. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

The invasion came like a whisper,
and the leaves changed shapes, 
and the niyok grew sick.

Coconut trees,
our culture’s tree of life,
dying slowly 
as invasive beetles 
eat their hearts 
like world powers 
devour islands.

Weavers hold culture in their 
palms,
weave tradition into their families,
tuck young palms 
into their fingers,
mold them into 
entities.

But now,
our culture’s tree of life 
has grown ill from 
foreign settlement.

Palms severed,
bent like a salute
the way Chamorros are cut like cards
and dealt in front lines of American wars.

The weavers were the first to know
that our niyok is 
sick,
in need of healing.

The same way our island is 
sick,
in need of healing.

I’ve taken up the craft,
so I can weave
traditions
into the palms of my children.

I can only hope that when 
I master it,

palms will remain
for them

to weave into our future.

Copyright © 2022 by Arielle Taitano Lowe. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 27, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.