Again I watch a cousin             fitted for a wedding gown

            lace and strings tightened         across the back, whale elegy

written across the spine           Fingers clasped around a bouquet

            Again the questions everyone                poses to me

when will it be my turn?           Confess—

            who’s the special         someone in my life?         Someday

I will find the right person               At the barn reception

            bride and groom dance           wind stirring blue ribbons

in the rafters, the antler chandelier                 mounted deer head

            I pitch bottles                           against a fence

in the field out back      lobbing glass

            shattering into the grass         Cigarettes flaring in the dark

couples running off into the windbreak trees               I walk barefoot

            to the edge of the lake            find a condom

-thin snakeskin             raise it to moonlight

            wonder if I am human if I am broken        frigid queer girl

the dead deer rises again                  breathing in the dark blue

            I step into water                                 peel the moon from my body

practicing love             with every mirror I can shed

From You Bury the Birds in My Pelvis (Omnidawn, 2023) by Kelly Weber. Copyright © 2023 by Kelly Weber. Used with the permission of the publisher. 

You hurt my feelings 
I say to the trees. You never 
ask me how I am I whisper 
to the breakfast taco, before 
an indelicate but determined bite. 
I miss you, I confront
the chair in the stranger’s yard. 
Your strong + silly arms. Your sin-sturdy legs. 

Why don’t you                  me I embroider
in green thread onto a yellow t-shirt 
on sale (jk I don’t do that. I pur-
chase bananas and toothpaste). Oh, 
is this where you go? I murmur 
to my car, who has a secret name. 

Can you hear me? I gesture
mutely to the parking lot. The trees
do not answer; they’re trees, 
                        and know better. 

Copyright © 2023 by Tarfia Faizullah. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 1, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets. 

If you could know the empty ache of loneliness,
          Masked well behind the calm indifferent face
Of us who pass you by in studied hurriedness,
          Intent upon our way, lest in the little space
Of one forgetful moment hungry eyes implore
          You to be kind, to open up your heart a little more,
I’m sure you’d smile a little kindlier, sometimes,
          To those of us you’ve never seen before.

If you could know the eagerness we’d grasp
          The hand you’d give to us in friendliness;
What vast, potential friendship in that clasp
          We’d press, and love you for your gentleness;
If you could know the wide, wide reach
          Of love that simple friendliness could teach,
I’m sure you’d say “Hello, my friend,” sometimes, 
          And now and then extend a hand in friendliness to each.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on March 7, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.