Always in relation
Is what any one is
& change happens
Only in relations
Limited by what
Time & makes it
The work you do
For what’s legal
That isn’t above
The work you do
For the sake
Of a jobs program
Copyright © 2023 by Wendy Trevino. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 16, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.
A bed should be a tender slab, devoid of insects.
A tired woman should be able to lie across diagonally,
headache to hag feet.
A bed should exist in crystalline silence.
It should have a sleepy blue view.
A nearby window not close to voyeurs.
A bed should have a special pillow to shush the head,
to coddle and safety the amygdala.
If established on the ground, a bed should have
a bioluminescent quilt to redirect the gaze: the prey
is over there.
If established in a tree, the quilt may allow for free feet
or a tossback with luxuriant abandon.
Among other things, do not build your bed on dictionaries
or books of any kind.
A bed is best made from a wood frame, or metal, or dark matter.
A bed should be free of lye, lime, and liars.
One should be able to enter the bed and think
I could fly far away in this. I could die; I could just die.
Copyright © 2023 by Jill Khoury. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 14, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.
Confinement is part of confinement.
As it is part of worms
to go through the surface
(like death and roots),
at the very moment of impairment.
They say that a few inches underground
it is possible to hear all
the rumors of the world.
That they are just heartbeats, almost imperceptible
that become from one moment to the next
like a desperate pounding.
They say humidity
is part of the charm,
and that it sometimes suffocates,
like the measured sadness
that comes from the impossibility
of seeing one’s own face
in the mirror.
Copyright © 2023 by Carlos Soto-Román. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 17, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,
A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam
Afore ye really ’preciate the things ye lef’ behind,
An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind.
It don’t make any differunce how rich ye get t’ be,
How much yer chairs an’ tables cost, how great yer luxury;
It ain’t home t’ ye, though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o’ wrapped round everything.
Home ain’t a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;
Afore it’s home there’s got t’ be a heap o’ livin’ in it;
Within the walls there’s got t’ be some babies born, and then
Right there ye’ve got t’ bring ‘em up t’ women good, an’ men;
And gradjerly, as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn’t part
With anything they ever used—they’ve grown into yer heart:
The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an’ if ye could ye’d keep the thumbmarks on the door.
Ye’ve got t’ weep t’ make it home, ye’ve got t’ sit an’ sigh
An’ watch beside a loved one’s bed, an’ know that Death is nigh;
An’ in the stillness o’ the night t’ see Death’s angel come,
An’ close the eyes o’ her that smiled, an’ leave her sweet voice dumb.
Fer these are scenes that grip the heart, an’ when yer tears are dried,
Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an’ sanctified;
An’ tuggin’ at ye always are the pleasant memories
O’ her that was an’ is no more—ye can’t escape from these.
Ye’ve got t’ sing an’ dance fer years, ye’ve got t’ romp an’ play,
An’ learn t’ love the things ye have by usin’ ’em each day;
Even the roses ’round the porch must blossom year by year
Afore they ’come a part o’ ye, suggestin’ someone dear
Who used t’ love ’em long ago, an’ trained ’em jes’ t’ run
The way they do, so’s they would get the early mornin’ sun;
Ye’ve got t’ love each brick an’ stone from cellar up t’ dome:
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 2, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.