It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk
The dew that lay upon the morning grass;
There is no rustling in the lofty elm
That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
Scarce cools me. All is silent, save the faint
And interrupted murmur of the bee,
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
Instantly on the wing. The plants around
Feel the too potent fervors: the tall maize
Rolls up its long green leaves; the clover droops
Its tender foliage, and declines its blooms.
But far in the fierce sunshine tower the hills,
With all their growth of woods, silent and stern,
As if the scorching heat and dazzling light
Were but an element they loved. Bright clouds,
Motionless pillars of the brazen heaven—
Their bases on the mountains—their white tops
Shining in the far ether—fire the air
With a reflected radiance, and make turn
The gazer’s eye away. For me, I lie
Languidly in the shade, where the thick turf,
Yet virgin from the kisses of the sun,
Retains some freshness, and I woo the wind
That still delays his coming. Why so slow,
Gentle and voluble spirit of the air?
Oh, come and breathe upon the fainting earth
Coolness and life! Is it that in his caves
He hears me? See, on yonder woody ridge,
The pine is bending his proud top, and now
Among the nearer groves, chestnut and oak
Are tossing their green boughs about. He comes;
Lo, where the grassy meadow runs in waves!
The deep distressful silence of the scene
Breaks up with mingling of unnumbered sounds
And universal motion. He is come,
Shaking a shower of blossoms from the shrubs,
And bearing on their fragrance; and he brings
Music of birds, and rustling of young boughs,
And sound of swaying branches, and the voice
Of distant waterfalls. All the green herbs
Are stirring in his breath; a thousand flowers,
By the road-side and the borders of the brook,
Nod gayly to each other; glossy leaves
Are twinkling in the sun, as if the dew
Were on them yet, and silver waters break
Into small waves and sparkle as he comes.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 14, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

I talk to a screen who assures me everything is fine.

I am not broken. I am not depressed. I am simply

in touch with the material conditions of my life. It is

the end of the world, and it’s fine. People laugh

about this, self-soothing engines sputtering

through a nosedive. Not me. I’ve gone and lost my

sense of humor when I need it most. This is why I

speak smoke into a scene. I dance against language

and abandon verse halfway through, like a broken-

throated singer. I wander around the front yard,

pathless as a little ant at the tip of a curled-up

cactus. Birds flit in and out of shining branches.

A garden blooms large in my throat. Color and life

conspire against my idea of the world. I have to

laugh until I am crying, make an ocean to land

upon in this sea of flames. Here I am.  

Another late-winter afternoon,

            the sunset and the purple-flowered tree

trying their best to keep me alive.

Copyright © 2022 by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 11, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread,
Smooth and pleasant.
I hardly taste you at all for I know your savour,
But I am completely nourished.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 25, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

Mountains, a moment’s earth-waves rising and hollowing; the earth too’s an ephemerid; the stars—
Short-lived as grass the stars quicken in the nebula and dry in their summer, they spiral
Blind up space, scattered black seeds of a future; nothing lives long, the whole sky’s
Recurrences tick the seconds of the hours of the ages of the gulf before birth, and the gulf
After death is like dated: to labor eighty years in a notch of eternity is nothing too tiresome,
Enormous repose after, enormous repose before, the flash of activity.
Surely you never have dreamed the incredible depths were prologue and epilogue merely
To the surface play in the sun, the instant of life, what is called life? I fancy
That silence is the thing, this noise a found word for it; interjection, a jump of the breath at that silence;
Stars burn, grass grows, men breathe: as a man finding treasure says ‘Ah!’ but the treasure’s the essence;
Before the man spoke it was there, and after he has spoken he gathers it, inexhaustible treasure.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on July 10, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

I took my sky hammer &
pounded out a few choice
clouds, cirrus and I don’t know, nimbus
as in a god on earth
moving in space as a great auroral mist
a god who beholds the sparrows 
washing in the dusty gravel
of frankford avenue
giving me cause to rant or
giving me means to roll
ride with me in the shadowy afterworld
beyond the spider of a doubt
along a sidewalk littered w/ leaves
don’t be plain, said the cloud, find
the ornament that please you best
or elsewise, sugared in stars
go on and rail in a useless manner
against the inevitable dawntime
people of the dawn
come up drumming 
and beat on a pillow even
if a drum is not available
happy fortune, fortune has come round for you again
in this pocket world of a minor horned god 
I balanced my lunch 
in the arms of my ancestors
thomcord grapes and weeping cherries
they were my arms
lackadasic in the sky-sky-sky
holding their sky hammer
as if it were the baby buddha
and I thought, if there was a world beyond...
I could become one of those assholes 
who gets their sugar from fruit
and regard the one who points out my faults 
as a revealer of treasures
and regard the one who points out my faults 
as a revealer of treasures

Copyright © 2022 by Julian Talamantez Brolaski. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 9, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

1

An unexpected storm puts out smoldering forest roots, ending fire season early.

Water persists through unseeable spaces between glass and window frames. Water’s tears displace dust, leaving streaks down the walls of the subdivided apartment.

I have little time to feel.

The pants I wear to work and work alone drape perpetually over the yellow chair.

The hills turn a generous green.

Weekends are for my new love. Twice we trailed the periphery of the zoo to lunch beside the wolves for free.

Once we followed a deer trail to an abandoned barn. We used the corners of the corrugated wall as steps to dangle inward at the square opening.

We hardly breathed at two owls above the meeting of wood beams. I only saw their silent backs as they fled—our presences forcing them into midday light. 

 

2

A neighbor through the wall plays classical piano less and less over the months.

Another learns guitar through a merciless repetition of top fifty alternative hits.

I can admit I’m unwell. I wouldn’t call a web colorless, shifting from invisible to everything. 

The yellow mullein bloom corkscrews, searching for sun.

I turn from the sense that I know myself to the sense that I had some friends who knew me well, though I didn’t know myself to them. 

An unhatched chick turns its right eye to its outer shell. The right eye develops to find food up close. The left eye, wing-tucked, develops to see distant threat.

My uncle in grief hasn’t slept for days. When he finally does, he wakes eager to tell my aunt about his dream. A feral cat leads him to his truck where a mother screech owl and her babies nest.

Copyright © 2022 by Claire Meuschke. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 3, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

My cousin 

had a nightmare 

that we kept 

building seawalls 

higher and 

higher 

all around 

our island 

up to 

the sky 

until suddenly 

we were 

at the bottom 

of a wishing well

looking 

up 

at the world.

Copyright © 2022 by Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 31, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

To Keep
the memories nimble, place your fingers inside the mouth of her hair.
The history there is one motion, told and retold by millions of bodies 
over hundreds of years. Sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, 
lover, friend, partner, braid me. Keep the tales of what we cannot forget here.

 

To Float
think of silted braided rivers. Now extricate the rivulets. Use your tongue.
Can you discern salt from iron or shell from shale? This is what it is like
to make a world with words. 

 

To Re-grow
a tongue, pull it from beneath silt at the bottom of the sea. 
If it is knotted, frayed, tangled, you can take up my voice. Look for my
feathers in dust, find my matted feathers in the surf. There, make
a nest for me. Gather shells and driftwood. Dig a small bowl
in the sand. Let the patterns arrange themselves into a beautiful thing.
Ask me to come, and you will find me on the horizon, glittering.

 

To Claim
you we claimed ourselves. We touched the surfaces of mirrors
with no reflections. Hic sunt leones. Here there are lions. Here are waves.
Imagine us a tide of lions crashing on sandy shores, returning for what is ours.

 

To Unfold
into a receptacle for holding joy, entrust your tender heart to another.
Look. We are more than our scars. We hold the memory of trauma
in our roots. And still, here is a moment of pure joy. See how our chests
shake the air with a trust manifested from generations of resilience? 
Reach for each other. Embrace. Grow flowers with your lungs.

Copyright © 2022 by Art 25: Art in the 25th Century. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 23, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

            I do not have any memories of Waikīkī ever being like this
not even in my father’s stories was she so utterly alone.

            No sunburnt tourists, no convertibles on Kalākaua Ave.
not even a leathery beach boy to survey the shoreline.

            Waikiki remembers though
her long curved neck of white sand anchoring

            empty hotels offers herself up to lapping little waves
rushing forward then pulling back again and again.

            Silver flashes of halalū close to the shoreline
hundreds pulsing instinctively forming an arrow

            then bursting into a corona, doubling back with black
eyes and thin fins twisting like the lie

            of a skilled lover, dazzling. The old rock wall under
the newly paved walkway jutting out past the reef

            so clear I can see the outlines of my brother and I
timing the crash of waves, holding hands as we jump

            from the ledge over the white spray
the sucking boom as our bodies

            break the surface while unseen watery hands
push us back up. Perhaps those same hands tickling

            the belly of that honu, its green-gray shell ascending.
Covid has managed the unimaginable, has returned

            Waikīkī to herself. Is it wrong to be so grateful?
I share this early morning quiet with a lone fisherman casting

            near the transplanted kukui nut trees which have no business
being there. The thin nylon line invisible against

            the slowly brightening sky and I never want anyone to return.
The drumming shoreline, gleam of the gold crucifix against

            the fisherman’s chest, salty air on my cheek—
all of it strengthening our way back into the light.

Copyright © 2022 by Christy Passion. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 19, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

This morning I didn’t even honi you when I came in.
I just walked right by your shallow breath,
your eyes shut in the living room, and that bed
stuffed with pulu. And all the blurred words
projecting onto the backs of your eyelids.

Ke alanui maʻawe ‘ula a Kanaloa …

I organize your prescription bottles like kiʻi
along the edges of the kitchen heiau
and try to remember how long it’s been
since you strung a sentence together
and draped it over my shoulders.

I grew up mountain view and I can always see
mauna kea and mauna loa same time

In the afternoon I thicken your drinking water,
obsessing on what you’ll want for the road, and pack
some paʻi ʻai a me ka iʻa. Bundled guesswork
disguised as intention once the oceans open up.
I keep a version of you in my pocket that asks,

Maybe this red road is not mine, but ours, Boy?
So make some food for you, too.

In the evening I sit you up and our eyes trace the octopus’s
footprints moonlit in the yard grass. You smile
and gulp the thick water, and I keep obsessing
about which muʻumuʻu you’ll want to wear in the waʻa.

Copyright © 2022 by Donovan Kūhiō Colleps. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 18, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

Where does the future live in your body? 
Touch it 

1.
Sri Lankan radical women never come alone. 
We have a tradition of coming in groups of three or four, minimum.
The Thiranagama sisters are the most famous and beloved,
but in the ’20s my appamma and great-aunties were the Wild Alvis Girls.
Then there’s your sister, your cousin, your great-aunties 
everyone infamous and unknown. 
We come in packs                       we argue 
we sneak each other out of the house                       we have passionate  agreements and disagreements 
we love each other very much but can’t stand to be in the same room or  continent for years. 
We do things like, oh, start the first rape crisis center in Jaffna in a war zone
in someone’s living room with no funding. 
When war forces our hands, 
we all move to Australia or London or Thunder Bay together
or, if the border does not love us, we are what keeps Skype in business.
When one or more of us is murdered 
by the state or a husband 
we survive 
whether we want to or not. 

I am an only child 
I may not have been born into siblinghood 
but I went out and found mine
Made mine. 

We come in packs 
even when we are alone 

Because sometimes the only ancestral sisterlove waiting for you
is people in books, dreams 
aunties you made up 
people waiting for you in the clouds ten years in the future 
and when you get there  
you make your pack 
and you send that love 
back. 

2. 
When the newly disabled come 
they come bearing terror and desperate. Everyone else has left them
to drown on the titanic. They don’t know that there is anyone
but the abled. They come asking for knowledge 
that is common to me as breath, and exotic to them as, well,
being disabled and not hating yourself. 
They ask about steroids and sleep. About asking for help.
About how they will ever possibly convince their friends and family
they are not lazy and useless. 
I am generous—we crips always are. 
They were me. 
They don’t know if they can call themselves that
they would never use that word, but they see me calling myself that,
i.e., disabled, and the lens is blurring, maybe there is another world
they have never seen
where crips limp slowly, laugh, have shitty and good days
recalibrate the world to our bodies instead of sprinting trying to keep up.
Make everyone slow down to keep pace with us. 

Sometimes, when I’m about to email the resource list, 
the interpreter phone numbers, the hot chronic pain tips, the best place to rent a ramp, 
my top five favorite medical cannabis strains, my extra dermal lidocaine  patch
—it’s about to expire, but don’t worry, it’s still good—I want to slip in a
P.S. that says, 
remember back when I was a crip
and you weren’t, how I had a flare and had to cancel our day trip
and when I told you, you looked confused
and all you knew how to say was, Boooooooooo!
as I was lying on the ground trying to breathe?
Do you even remember that? 
Do your friends say that to you now? 
Do you want to come join us, on the other side? 
Is there a free future in this femme of color disabled body?

3. 
When I hear my femme say, When I’m old and am riding a motorcycle with  white hair down my back.
When I hear my femme say, When I’m old and sex work paid off my house  and my retirement.
When I hear my femme/myself say, When I get dementia and I am held with respect when I am between all worlds.
When I see my femme packing it all in, because crip years are like dog years and you never know when they’re going to shoot Old Yeller.
When I hear my femme say, when I quit my teaching gig and never have to  deal with white male academic nonsense again.

When I hear us plan the wheelchair accessible femme of color trailer park,
the land we already have a plan to pay the taxes on 
See the money in the bank and the ways we grip our thighs back to ourselves 

When I hear us dream our futures, 
believe we will make it to one, 
We will make one. 

The future lives in our bodies 
Touch it.

Originally published in Hematopoiesis Press, Issue 2. Copyright © 2017 by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. Used with the permission of the author. Published in Poem-a-Day on March 12, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

The haunting has killed before.
Find words to describe the stone
heavy in the bowels. Before us
are the disasters we make
of our lives. I am a clumsy
journeyman. You find me on
a road that curls across green
plains. You see me with my staff
from so many miles away. We follow
the contours the mountains
make of the road until, hours
later, after two light showers
and a burst of sunlight we
meet. I tell you I am doing
penance. I promise that these
words I am speaking are the breaking
of a long fast, and my voice
sounds alien even to me.
You ask why I wince like that.
“The silence,” I say. “It bruises, as well.”
And after the elation of this meeting,
we part, you towards the light, me
into the gloom you left behind.

Copyright © 2022 by Kwame Dawes. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 28, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

For Mario Gonzalez Arenales (1994-2021)

He’s not doing anything wrong. He’s just scaring my wife.
—call to the Alameda Police Department, April 19, 2021

They watched him from the window of the house, a man at the fence
in a crooked wool cap, chipping at their tree with a comb, liquor bottles
in a shopping basket by his feet. They heard him speak to the wife’s
mother in the yard, tongue thick in his mouth, heavy with lamentation.
He could be the Aztec god of pestilence, no mask, breathing the plague
on them through walls and doors. The Mexican nanny might be able  
to read the hieroglyphics tumbling from his mouth, but she was wheeling 
a stroller through the streets of Alameda, the trees bowing deeply.

On the news, the body-cam clip wobbles like the video at a barbecue.
The cops are cheerful as they encircle him in the park across the street.
He says his name is Mario. One cop scolds this refugee from Oakland about
drinking in our parks, wants ID so they can be on our merry way. Mario says:
Merry-go-round? He steps up on a tree stump as if to ride it. The cops climb off
the spinning horses of Mario’s imagination, tugging at his arms as he peeks
at them under the cap. Now they are cowboys at the rodeo, but Mario is not
a steer, crashing to the applause of hands that would carve him into steaks.

The cops shove him to the ground, facedown. Mario squirms and bucks;
he is the prize at the county fair, a beast who tries to calm his captors,
so he spits all the words he knows to make them stop: oh God, please,
thank you, and sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I forgive you, says one cop,
as the other cop digs his knee into Mario’s back, where it stays even after
they cuff him, even after the first cop says: Think we can roll him on his side?
He asks Mario for his birthday, as if there will be a barbecue in the backyard
at the cop’s house, and Mario, facedown in the wood chips and the dirt,
with the other cop’s knee pressing into his back, wheezes the word: 1994.

There were cries, then silence. There were no last words. In medieval days,
the prisoner at the block would forgive the headsman and drop a coin into
his hand for a clean strike of the blade. In Salem’s Puritan days, a man accused
of witchcraft, after two days of stones stacked on him, sneered: More weight.

There were no last words from Mario when they rolled him over at last.
The last words were in the headlines that same day, jury deliberations
two thousand miles away in Minneapolis, the case of a cop kneeling
on the neck of a Black man, facedown and handcuffed, for nine minutes.

In Alameda, the cops began CPR and their incantation over the asphyxiated body: 
Wake up, Mario, wake up, as if he would be late for school on class picture day, 
as if he would miss his shift at the pizzeria where the paychecks dwindled away, 
as if he had an autistic brother waiting at home for Mario to help him step from 
the shower, button his shirt, comb his hair. His autistic brother still waits for Mario.

The man who called the cops, his wife’s hand gripping his shoulder,
says We greatly regret what happened and never intended, says Terrible
things are being said about us, says Our autistic child is able to read
and is terribly sensitive.
The sign in front of the dark house says: For Sale.

The merry-go-round in Mario’s imagination grinds on, creaking
day after day: the caller who presses the button to make the horses go,
the cops charging like cavalry after the renegade, the dead man galloping
ahead, escape impossible, his horse impaled on a pole, kicking the air.

The Mexican nanny called Crucita blames herself for rolling the stroller back
too late. She visits the altar for Mario across the street from the tree missing
a sliver of bark from his comb. The roses wreathing his face shrivel to plastic,
balloons gone flat, votive candles cold. There is an autopsy after the autopsy.
The coroner keeps the city’s secrets, a priest hiding in the confessional.

In her sleep, Crucita sees Mario, sometimes a body splayed across the street,
breath squeezed from his lungs like the last note from the pipes of a calliope,
sometimes breaking free, the painted horse lunging away, as he rides
along the coast to the deserts of Baja California, down mountain trails
off the maps of Yanqui generals and their armies, deep into the songs about
bandidos too clever to be caught, revolutionaries the bullets cannot kill.

Copyright © 2022 by Martín Espada. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 9, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

i stand before you to say 
that today i walked home
& caught the light through
the fence & it was so golden
i wanted to cry & i lifted 
my right hand to say thank
you god for the sun thank 
you god for a chain link fence
& all the shoes that fit into
the chain link fence so that
we might get lifted god thank
you & i just wanted to dance
& it feels good to have food
in your belly & it feels good
to be home even when home
is the space between metal
shapes & still we are golden
& a man who wore the walk
of hard grounds & lost days
came toward me in the street
& said ‘girl what a beautiful 
day’ & i said yes, testify
& i walked on & from some
place a horn rose, an organ,
a voice, a chorus, here to tell
you that we are not dead
we are not dead we are not
dead we are not dead we are
not dead we are not dead 
we are not dead we are not
dead 
yet

Copyright © 2022 by Eve L. Ewing. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 28, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

Easy light storms in through the window, soft
            edges of the world, smudged by mist, a squirrel’s 

            nest rigged high in the maple. I’ve got a bone 
to pick with whomever is in charge. All year, 

I’ve said, You know what’s funny? and then,
            Nothing, nothing is funny. Which makes me laugh

            in an oblivion-is-coming sort of way. A friend
writes the word lover in a note and I am strangely

excited for the word lover to come back. Come back
            lover, come back to the five and dime. I could 

            squeal with the idea of blissful release, oh lover,
what a word, what a world, this gray waiting. In me,

a need to nestle deep into the safe-keeping of sky.
            I am too used to nostalgia now, a sweet escape

            of age. Centuries of pleasure before us and after
us, still right now, a softness like the worn fabric of a nightshirt

and what I do not say is, I trust the world to come back.
            Return like a word, long forgotten and maligned 

            for all its gross tenderness, a joke told in a sun beam,
the world walking in, ready to be ravaged, open for business.

Copyright © 2021 by Ada Limón. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 4, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

In the dreamy silence
Of the afternoon, a
Cloth of gold is woven
Over wood and prairie;
And the jaybird, newly
Fallen from the heaven,
Scatters cordial greetings,
And the air is filled with
Scarlet leaves, that, dropping,
Rise again, as ever,
With a useless sigh for
Rest—and it is Autumn.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on November 6, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

They shovelled the long trenches day and night.

Frostbitten mud. Shellshock mud. Dungheap mud. Imperial mud.
Venereal mud. Malaria mud. Hun bait mud. Mating mud.
1655 mud: white flashes of sharks. Golgotha mud. Chilblain mud.
Caliban mud. Cannibal mud. Ha ha ha mud. Amnesia mud.
Drapetomania mud. Lice mud. Pyrexia mud. Exposure mud. Aphasia mud.
No-man’s-land’s-Everyman’s mud. And the smoking flax mud.
Dysentery mud. Septic sore mud. Hog pen mud. Nephritis mud.
Constipated mud. Faith mud. Sandfly fever mud. Rat mud.
Sheol mud. Ir-ha-cheres mud. Ague mud. Asquith mud. Parade mud.
Scabies mud. Mumps mud. Memra mud. Pneumonia mud.
Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin mud. Civil war mud.
And darkness and worms will be their dwelling-place mud.
Yaws mud. Gog mud. Magog mud. God mud.
Canaan the unseen, as promised, saw mud.

They resurrected new counter-kingdoms,
by the arbitrament of the sword mud. 

Copyright © 2021 by Ishion Hutchinson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 20, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

The boughs, the boughs are bare enough,
But earth has not yet felt the snow.
Frost-fringed our ivies are, and rough

With spiked rime the brambles show,
The hoarse leaves crawl on hissing ground,
What time the sighing wind is low.

But if the rain-blasts be unbound,
And from dank feathers wring the drops,
The clogg’d brook runs with choking sound,

Kneading the mounded mire that stops
His channel under clammy coats
Of foliage fallen in the copse.

A single passage of weak notes
Is all the winter bird dare try.
The moon, half-orb’d, ere sunset floats

So glassy-white about the sky,
So like a berg of hyaline,
Pencill’d with blue so daintily—

I never saw her so divine.
But thro’ black branches—rarely drest
In streaming scarfs that smoothly shine,

Shot o’er with lights—the emblazon’d west,
Where yonder crimson fire-ball sets,
Trails forth a purfled-silken vest.

Long beds I see of violets
In beryl lakes which they reef o’er:
A Pactolean river frets

Against its tawny-golden shore:
All ways the molten colours run:
Till, sinking ever more and more

Into an azure mist, the sun
Drops down engulf’d, his journey done.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on December 4, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

they said 
forget your grandma
these american letters
don’t need no more 
grandma poems
but i said 
the grandmas are 
our first poetic forms
the first haiku 
was a grandma 
& so too 
the first sonnet
the first blues
the first praise song 
therefore
every poem 
is a grandmother 
a womb that has ended 
& is still expanding 
a daughter that is 
rhetorically aging 
& retroactively living
every poem 
is your grandma
& you miss her
wouldn’t mind 
seeing her again
even just 
for a moment 
in the realm of spirit
in the realm 
of possibilities 
where poems 
share blood 
& spit & exist 
on chromosomal 
planes of particularity 
where poems 
are strangers
turned sistren 
not easily shook 
or forgotten

Copyright © 2021 by Yolanda Wisher. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 29, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

your eyes I whisper to our son while he

          catches his breath. It is well past midnight

and he will not describe the face of what

          he fights to unsee. By his feet, the green

 

glow of a nightlight retreats into blue,

          slips softly to red. Above his bed: notes

we once had time to tape onto the latch

          of his lunchbox, flights of origami

swans, throwing stars and fortune tellers. When

 

          your turn comes to lie beside him, this is

the bridge he’s set to repeat: Always an

          angel, never a god—and so you hold

him close like a saint shadowed by the axe,

          cradling her own haloed head in her hands.

Copyright © 2024 by R. A. Villanueva. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 9, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

Sorrow, O sorrow, moves like a loose flock
of blackbirds sweeping over the metal roofs, over the birches, 
                    and the miles. 
    One wave after another, then another, then the sudden 

                                                            opening
where the feathered swirl, illumined by dusk, parts to reveal 
the weeping 
                     heart of all things.

Copyright © 2024 by Vievee Francis. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 12, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

I want this job because 
it sounds like something I could do 
and I’m hungry, physically. 
I have extensive experience 
in studying what water says as it plummets.
Yes, I can carry more than 35lbs, but what 
does that have to do with anything? 
I’ve wrestled angelic beings 
and the nine lives of pathological compulsion.
I have sworn an oath against the roman calendar 
and its derivative mutations. 
I can be firm as cold turkey. 
My two letters of recommendation are
f and u. They can be used in surf, which 
is one way to step on what wants me drowned. 
I have heard the hinges of the doors of the sea 
creak, so I read a book beneath a tree. 
I think a lie can be worse than murder but also 
I have never died. I can definitely think of a time 
when I had to multitask while under immense pressure, 
but would prefer not to. My goal is to recall my past lives 
and be free in each. My strength is being scattered 
and rooted at the same time. My weakness is entertaining 
a party of every kind of consequence. 
My kink is a copless land where no one hoards anything.
I can start on any day you are prepared to train.
I can end on any day that ends in why not, 
for real, I don’t need this, 
the people got me you know, 
I’m with the people. 

Copyright © 2024 by Jordan Kapono Nakamura. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 24, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

i’m confident that the absolute dregs of possibility for this society,
the sugary coffee mound at the bottom of this cup,
our last best hope that when our little bit of assigned plasma implodes 
it won’t go down as a green mark in the cosmic ledger,
lies in the moment when you say hello to a bus driver 
and they say it back—

when someone holds the door open for you 
and you do a little jog to meet them where they are—

walking my dog, i used to see this older man 
and whenever I said good morning, 
he replied ‘GREAT morning’—

in fact, all the creative ways our people greet each other
may be the icing on this flaming trash cake hurtling through the ether. 

when the clerk says how are you 
and i say ‘i’m blessed and highly favored’ 

i mean my toes have met sand, and wiggled in it, a lot. 
i mean i have laughed until i choked and a friend slapped my back.
i mean my niece wrote me a note: ‘you are so smart + intellajet’

i mean when we do go careening into the sun, 

i’ll miss crossing guards ushering the grown folks too, like ducklings 
and the lifeguards at the community pool and
men who yelled out the window that they’d fix the dent in my car, 
right now! it’d just take a second—

and actually everyone who tried to keep me alive, keep me afloat, 
and if not unblemished, suitably repaired.

but I won’t feel too sad about it,
becoming a star 

Copyright © 2024 by Eve L. Ewing. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 6, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

He sits, silent, 
no longer mistaking the cable 
news for company—

and when he talks, he talks of childhood, 
remembering some slight or conundrum 
as if it is a score to be retailed

and settled after seventy-five years.

Rare, the sudden lucidity 
that acknowledges this thing
that has happened
to me… 

More often, he recounts 
his father’s cruelty
or a chance deprived 
to him, a Negro
                  under Jim Crow. 

Five minutes ago escapes him 
as he chases 1934, unaware

of the present beauty out the window,
the banks of windswept snow—

or his wife, humming in the kitchen, 
or the twilit battles in Korea, or me

when he remembers that I am his son.

This condition—with a name that implies 
the proprietary, 
possession, 
                           spiritual
and otherwise—

as if it owns him,
which it does.

Copyright © 2024 by Anthony Walton. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 8, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

for Molly Peacock

My mother thinks she cannot grow 
orchids: the initial blooms shrivel,  
turn to dust on the window ledge.  
The stalk, once green, becomes 
a dry stick, soon appraised  
for the same value she gives  
every crinkled brown leaf: 

She cut it off. 

She did not know to wait 
to examine turgid base leaves,  
jungle vibrant, roots brimming  
the pot’s rim, testing the drainage holes,  
seeking sun, trickling water. 

It must work harder now 
to bloom once the stem  
has been removed. 

At middle age, I appreciate 
the orchid’s beauty: its shy blooms 
burst from a dead stick: 
nodes of growth emerge  
as tender youth did once. 

I got my first orchid at fifty. I was 
unable to accept the end of my body’s  
usefulness. The aura of attraction 
shriveled, I secretly  
cheered for the orchid  
whose tender nodes explode 
unexpected, fighting 
against our assumption that  
beauty only bursts from  
the sweet young green.  

Copyright © 2024 by Cherise Pollard. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 9, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

poets in their bassinets 
dream a splendid woman holding over their baby eyes 
a globe, shining with 
possibility.    someone, 
she smiles, has to see this  
and report it, and they 
in their innocence 
believing that all will be 
as beautiful as she is, 
whimper     use me, use me 
and oh how terrifying 
that she does.

Copyright © 2024 by Lucille Clifton. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 13, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

In class today,
We mused on Janie and Tea Cake
And how love saves and wounds.

And I said,
Who is Janie’s true love?
And they said,

Tea Cake.
And I said
Are you sure?

And Eboni said,
She love herself like she ’posed to.
She wanted to be like the bee and the flower

But her granny wouldn’t let her.
And we all nodded.
Logan treated her like a mule

And Joe like a doll baby
And Tea Cake was her
Bae. But in the end

She come back home.
And I said
Is this the end of the story?

And Chynna said,
Naw, she ain’t but forty’
It’s just the beginning

Janie got money, and a house
And she ain’t studyin’ nothin’.

Copyright © 2024 by Kelly Norman Ellis. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 14, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

to Mary Rose

Here is our little yard  

too small            for a pool  
or chickens   let alone 

a game of tag or touch 
football       Then 

again   this stub-  
born patch  

of crabgrass  is just 
big enough      to get down  

flat on our backs 
with eyes wide open    and face 

the whole gray sky  just 
as a good drizzle 

begins                   I know  
we’ve had a monsoon  

of grieving to do  
which is why  

I promise    to lie 
beside you  

for as long as you like  
or need  

We’ll let our elbows 
kiss     under the downpour  

until we’re soaked  
like two huge nets  
                    left  

beside the sea  
whose heavy old

ropes strain  
stout with fish 

If we had to     we could  
feed a multitude  

with our sorrows  
If we had to  

we could name   a loss  
for every other  

drop of rain   All these  
foreign flowers 

you plant from pot  
to plot  

with muddy fingers  
—passion, jasmine, tuberose—  

we’ll sip 
the dew from them  

My darling                here
is the door I promised  

Here
is our broken bowl Here  

                        my hands  
In the home of our dreams  

the windows open  
in every  

weather—doused  
or dry—May we never  

be so parched 

Copyright © 2024 by Patrick Rosal. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 13, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

(In the city)

The sun is near set 
And the tall buildings 
Become teeth 
Tearing bloodily at the sky’s throat;
The blank wall by my window
Becomes night sky over the marches 
When there is no moon, and no wind, 
And little fishes splash in the pools.

I had lit my candle to make a song for you, 
But I have forgotten it for I am very tired;
And the candle … a yellow moth …
Flutters, flutters, 
Deep in my brain. 
My song was about, ‘a foreign lady
Who was beautiful and sad, 
Who was forsaken, and who died 
A thousand years ago.’
But the cracked cup at my elbow,
With dregs of tea in it, 
Fixes my tired thought more surely 
Than the song I made for you and forgot …
That I might give you this. 

I am tired. 

I am so tired
That my soul is a great plain 
Made desolate,
And the beating of a million hearts 
Is but the whisper of night winds
Blowing across it. 

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on March 16, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.

for renee

if you can remember nothing else
know I am happy in this ugly little house
I have a mustache          chapped lips
eat naked in front of dirty windows
I never worry about who may pass by
to witness the blessing of my flesh all
purple and growing    I am fat with love
freedom has made me bigger               I don’t
long to be adored        truth be told my wife
won’t worship me       my altars abandoned
my children half wild screaming demigods
my sisters refuse to know me    grimace thin-lipped smiles
as I pass by                  but I’m not sorry
you wouldn’t be either
listen                  I play marvin gaye the few days I clean
aretha when I rush my wife to bed
and in those few hours before Apollo rushes his chariot
dragging a belligerent sun to the sky
she holds all of me      vast and ordinary
no spells or runes to bind her            we grow our own religion
I am bored of these stories       that drag out my breathless allure
the way men whip themselves
into foolish frenzy for the pleasure of consuming a goddess
as if it were not a shopworn tired thing            what good is your desire
             I want to be known for nothing but me             a fat black happy
woman who gave no fucks    tell that history

Copyright © 2024 by Saida Agostini. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 18, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

People going through 
hard times don’t listen 
to songs about people

going through hard times,
says my son. Debt, addiction, 
chronic bad luck, unemployment—

I’m with you, I say. The only 
exception is heartbreak;
when you’re deep in it 

you just want a late-night
DJ to spin your pain. The car 
radio is playing Jason Isbell 

through Wyoming, part of it
in Yellowstone National Park,
home to 500 of the world’s

900 geysers. Mesmerizing
eruptions! Geothermal wonders!
Hot holes and fumaroles! 

Last week a Bison
gored a Phoenix woman,
but who knows how close

she got before it charged.
Bison run three times faster
than humans and injure

more people than any animal 
in the park—even grizzlies. 
In thermal areas the ground 

is just a thin crust above 
acidic pools, some resembling 
milky marbles, others the insides 

of celestine geodes reflecting 
the sky. Boardwalk signs 
all over Yellowstone shout 

Dangerous Ground! Potentially 
fatal! and despite that—
despite the print of a boy 

off-balance, falling through 
the surface into a boiling 
hot spring, his mouth an O 

of fear—despite the warnings
in writing that more than
a dozen people have been

scalded to death here and
hundreds badly burned 
or scarred, there are still

the tourons taunting bears,
dipping their fingers
off the side of the Boardwalk

into a gurgling mudpot.
Got a loan out on the truck 
but I’m runnin’ out of luck, 

sings Isbell, and the parking lots 
are packed with license plates 
from every state—so many 

borrowed RVs taking the curves 
too hard, so much rented 
bear spray dangling from 

carabiners clipped to cargo 
short waistbands, and ample
Christianity too: the Jesus

& Therapy t-shirt, the Enjoy 
Jesus baseball hat, the all I need
today is a little bit of coffee

and a whole lot of Jesus tote,
Mennonite families with 
women in bonnets

hauling toddlers. I want 
to tell my son it’s not
shameful to need

something or someone
to help us out of the darkness
when it gets very dark.

Jeff Buckley. Joy Division.
Jesus. Dolly Parton. Even
Delilah and her long 

distance dedications 
cracking the silence of 
every solo backroad

I’ve been driving since
before he was born.
He is sixteen. Does he know 

the black hole of loving 
and not being loved in return,
the night and its volume?

And the moon—nearly full,
rising over Old Faithful
which erupts on cue

to an appreciative crowd
every ninety-ish minutes.
And the moon, keeping me 

insomniac with its light 
shining like an interrogation 
trick into this cabin

through the crack
between the window 
and the blind.

Copyright © 2024 by Erika Meitner. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 27, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

We met in the middle of the street only to discuss
the Buteo lineatus, but we simply said hawk
because we knew nothing of Latin. We knew nothing
of red in the shoulder, of true hawks versus buzzards,
or what time they started their mornings,
what type of snake they stooped low
and swift to eat. We knew nothing.
Or, I should say, at least I knew nothing,
and he said nothing of what he knew that day
except one thing he said he thought, but now I say
he knew: I’m going to die soon, my neighbor said to me
and assured he had no diagnosis, just a thought. He said it
just two weeks before he died outdoors just
twenty steps away from where we stood that day—
he and I between the porch I returned to and twisted
the key to my door to cross the threshold into my familiar
like always I do and the garage he returned to
and twisted some wrench probably on a knob of the
El Camino like always he did every day when usually
I’d wave briefly en route from carport to door
sometimes saying “how’s it going,” expecting
only the “fine” I had time to digest. Except today
when I stepped out of my car, he waved me over to see
what I now know to call the Buteo. When first I read its
Latin name, I pronounced it boo-TAY-oh
before learning it’s more like saying beauty (oh!).
I can’t believe I booed when it’s always carrying awe.
Like on this day, the buzzard—red-shouldered and
usually nesting in the white pine—cast a shadow
upon my lawn just as I parked, and stared back at us—
my mesmerized neighbor and me—perched, probably hunting,
in the leaning eastern hemlock in my yard. Though
back then I think I only called it a tree because I knew nothing
about distinguishing evergreens because I don’t think I ever asked
or wondered or searched yet. I knew nothing about how they thrive
in the understory. Their cones, tiny. And when they think
they’re dying, they make more cones than ever before. How did he
know? Who did he ask and what did he search to find
the date that he might die, and how did he know
to say soon to me and only me and then, right there
in that garage with his wrench and the some other parts
unknown for the El Camino and the radio loud as always
it was, stoop down, his pledge hand anxious against his chest,
and never rise again? And now the hemlock, which also goes

by Tsuga canadensis, which is part Latin, part Japanese,
still leans, still looks like it might fall any day now, weighed
down by its ever-increasing tiny fists. And the Buteo returns
each winter to reclaim the white pine before spring.
Most hawks die by accident—collision, predation, disease.
But when it survives long enough to know it’s dying, it may
find a familiar tree and let its breath weaken in a dark cranny.
And my neighbor’s wife and I now meet in the middle,
sometimes even discussing birds but never discussing
that day. And I brought her roses on that first anniversary
without him because we sometimes discuss a little more
than birds. And the Buteo often soar in twos, sometimes solo.
So high I cannot see their shoulders, but I know their voices
now and can name them even when I don’t see them. No matter
how high they fly, they see me, though I don’t concern them.
They watch a cottonmouth, slender and sliding
silent in tall grass. And the cardinals don’t sing.
They don’t go mute, either. They tink.
Close to their nests and in their favorite trees, they know
when the hawk looms. And their voices turn
metallic: tink, tink, tink.

Copyright © 2024 by Ciona Rouse. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 28, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

Let us not with one stone kill one bird, 
much less two. Let us never put a cat 
in a bag nor skin them, regardless 
of how many ways there are to do so. 
And let us never take the bull, especially 
by his gorgeous horns. What I mean is 

we could watch our tongues or keep 
silent. What I mean is we could scrub 
the violence from our speech. And if we find
truth in a horse’s mouth, let us bless her

ground-down molars, no matter how 
old she is, especially if she was given 
as a gift. Again, let’s open her mouth——that of the horse, 
I mean——let us touch that interdental space where 
no teeth grow, where the cold bit was made to grip. 
Touch her there, gently now, touch that gentle 

empty between her incisors and molars, rub her 
aching, vulnerable gums. Don’t worry: doing so calms her. 
Besides, she’s old now; she’s what we call 
broken; she won’t bite. She’s lived through 
two thirteen-year emergences of cicadas

and thought their rising a god infestation, 
thought each insect roiling up an iteration 
of the many names of god, because god to her is 
the grasses so what comes up from grass is
god. She would not say it that way. Nor would she

say the word cicada——words are hindrances 
to what can be spoken through the body, are 
what she tolerates when straddled, 
giddy-up on one side then whoa on the other. After, 
it’s all good girl, Mable, good girl
before the saddle sweat is rinsed cool 
with water from the hose and a carrot is offered 
flat from the palm. Yes, words being 

generally useless she listens instead 
to the confused rooster stuttering when the sun
burns overhead, when it’s warm enough
for those time-keepers to tunnel up from the 
dark and fill their wings to make them 
stiff and capable of flight. To her, it is the sound 

of winter-coming in her mane 
or the sound of winter-leaving in her mane——
yes, that sound——a liquid shushing 
like the blood-fill of stallion desire she knew once 
but crisper, a dry crinkle of fall 
leaves. Yes, that sound, as they fill their new wings 
then lumber to the canopy to demand
come here, come here, come 
here, now come

If this is a parable you don’t understand, 
then, dear human, stop listening for words. 
Listen instead for mane, wind, wings
wind, mane, wings, wings, wings. 
The lesson here is of the mare 
and of the insects, even of the rooster 
puffed and strutting past. Because now, 
now there is only one thing worth hearing, 
and it is the plea of every living being in that field 
we call ours, is the two-word commandment 
trilling from the trees: let live, let live, let live. 
Can you hear it? Please, they say. Please.
Let us live.  

Copyright © 2024 by Nickole Brown. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 28, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.

at the Sipsey River

make small steps.
in this wild place
there are signs of life
everywhere.
sharp spaces, too:
the slip of a rain-glazed rock
against my searching feet.
small steps, like prayers—
each one a hope exhaled
into the trees. please,
let me enter. please, let me
leave whole.
there are, too, the tiny sounds
of faraway birds. the safety
in their promise of song.
the puddle forming, finally,
after summer rain.
the golden butterfly
against the cave-dark.
maybe there are angels here, too— 
what else can i call the crown of light 
atop the leaves?
what else can i call
my footsteps forward,
small, small, sure?

From You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World (Milkweed Editions, 2024), edited by Ada Limón. Copyright © 2024 Milkweed Editions and the Library of Congress. Used with the permission of the author. Published in Poem-a-Day on April 27, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.

In   the   milliseconds   &      minutes     &  
millennia  when   I    no   longer   am   the  
bundle of meat & need  unpoeming  itself  
in   the still   hours   of  a   full   or   empty  
house,  I  dream  my  eye socket   encased  
underground   with    root    &   worm    &  
watershed threading  through it.  |  |  The  
summers   become  hotter  &   hotter.  |  |  
Unbearable  &  luminous,  the  refrain  of  
the  song  of  extinction— 

My  children  &  my   children’s   children  
will  inherit   the  edges of cumulonimbus  
clouds,     the       unexpected      sunflower  
blooming   from   a     second-story     rain 
gutter,   the  gentleness   of   the  marbling 
sunlight  on  the  fur  of a  rabbit  stilled in  
a  suburban  backyard.  |  |  I  am  in   love 
 with    the   Earth.   |  |   There    are    still  
blackberries  enough   to  light the    brain  
with the star charts of a sweetness— 

&  yet  &  yet  &  yet, the  undertow  of  the  
expanding    universe     repeats    to      the  
mitochondria    in   my    cells.   The     tiny  
bluebird  in my throat continues   to   build  
her  nest   with  twigs   & mud  &  scraps of  
Amazon packing tape.  |  |   I feel  the  now 
of   now  fluttering   diastole  &  systole   in  
my  biceps  & lungs  &  toe  bones   |  |  The  
oranges  &  reds  &   yellows  of   my   many  
Octobers   leaf  to   life   &   spill   from   my  
mouth:  unaccountable  acorns,   midnight 
loam, overgrown meadows,  

a wee spore adrift among the fireflies—

Copyright © 2024 by Dante Di Stefano. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 12, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

For Palestinian poet Reefat Alareer, with lines from his poems

We live.
We live.
We do.
                  ——Refaat Alareer


You were killed today            December 7th            
            my birthday     It was today    son of Shujaiya
 

                        in an Israel airstrike                you were killed          
            visiting            your brother’s home   in Gaza City
 

Today, the anniversary                       of when my grandfather
            only 12 years old                    climbed onto the roof
 

                        of his dormitory                      to watch the bombs
            fall on the American naval base         built over Puʻuloa
           
Your brother               your sister                   and four of her 
            children were killed, too                     You were                  

                        just a few years                       younger than me
 

            This morning              after Israel’s birds       of death       
   

screeched down                      toward you                  my children woke up             
            on their own    in Honolulu     though it was still dark
 

                        their breath      like soil           their voices     like soil          
             their kisses     like soil           blinking when touched by rain    
      

And my youngest        rubbing her eyes                     asked if 
            it was my birthday—              And am I now 47?—       
          

                        before singing             in our ancestors’ language     
            we are learning                       to speak together         after 
 

the wreckage   of English                   and Americans
            And my oldest            who is learning                       to speak
 

                        in speech therapy        giggled            in her grogginess       
            then sang                     her own song  too     
           

And what did I do       to deserve                    such tenderness                      
            this early morning?     Or to live                     this long     
                

                        having heard bombs and guns            fired only
            from a distance?                      Having stood   safely 
 

                        scared  as a child                     and angry        as an adult     
            at the sound     of our lands and waters        Kahoʻolawe      
         

Pōhakuloa                   Mākua                Wahiawa                     battered
            bruised burned poisoned                         in live fire practice? 
 

                        By bombs that may have        fallen on you   or close 
                                    to you on those you loved full-hearted          recklessly
 

                                              those you learned to cling to even harder            bombs 
                                    that may have hurt or killed children like mine            who
 

                        could still sing?                       And you                      what did you do 
                                    to deserve                    your shorter poet’s life                except 
 

                                                tell the truth    and sow the seeds        of songs 
                                   in your students        except grow your        love for them         
 

                        for your people           for your land               and country                
                                    for the promise                        within the wreckage
 

                                                that is this English                  echoing 
                                    all the way here                       to Honolulu     where I resisted
 

                        opening my TikTok feed        to savor my children’s sleepy 
                                    sweetness                    a little longer               before facing 
 

                                                that birthdays are death days              too?  

           
                                    That each day              bombs and schools     
                        hospitals and houses               fall                   each day children     
  

     are pulled from rubble          children          are pulled away
                        crying           from rubble             that buried              their mothers                        
       that they feel                  alone                         that their hurt seeps 
                        down               into the dirt                    as they look heaven in the eye
 

                                    somewhere in Gaza?              That they         have written   
                        their names     and their parents’ names         on their limbs
 

                                    so their bodies             or maybe just these parts                   
                        if that is all                         that’s left                     can be known            
 

                                    to anyone                    who finds them?     
   

     That                 if they          if you                must die          
            so easily uprooted       from the earth             so harshly unsung
     

let it be a tale                and why not    write poems   to birth 
            the strongest words                    of love             like rocks?
 

                        like seeds?                   like songs?      like names? 
            And why not               hold those rocks          in your hands?
                      

Your arms?            Pull them              to your chest       like children   
          lighting         the darkest            of birthday mornings?
 

                        Why not feel               their full weight                      and cling 
                        even harder         to live            to live                dear poet 
 

                        of Shujaiya                  of Gaza           of Palestine                
                        just before                  they                  just before         you

                                                                                                                            take flight? 

Copyright © 2024 by Brandy Nālani McDougall. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 15, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

to enjoy myself. enjoying you enjoying. yourself to(o). ooo!       enjoying. to enjoy myself enjoying you enjoying me enjoying myself enjoying you enjoying yourself    . enjoying enjoying yourself enjoying me enjoying you/me.   enjoying.enjoying myself you yourself enjoying yourself enjoying me enjoying you enjoying yourself. enjoying.   enjoying you. enjoying me.    enjoying you&me younme youme enjoying yummi.   enjoying you enjoying me enjoying myself. enjoying you enjoying joy enjoying joy yourself. you yourself joy&me enjoying. us 3 or 4. my joy and your joy — joy we enjoying   you enjoying me. you&me enjoying. you&me joying and enjoying. ain’t joying. andjoying. injoying. Me joying you and you joying me. you&me younme   youme you whom me — us. & joy is the you in me and the me in you. joy   joy.   joy is the and. the end. of all this you and me. younme. you in me. me in you. tho you-you and me-me. both younme i. both younme am. both younme is. joy is the and. joy is the end. joy is the in. the way thru you for me. the way thru you to me. the way thru me for you. the way thru me to you. seein me thru. seein you thru. seein you tru. seein me tru. truly seein thru you and me. truly seein younme. truly seein you in me. me in you. truly seein you and me. me and you. truly seein you end me. me end you. truly younme.

so joy.us how we enjoy ourselves. some each other. (u)s. 

Copyright © 2024 by Vladimir Lucien. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 11, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.