If for a day joy masters me,
Think not my wounds are healed;
Far deeper than the scars you see,
I keep the roots concealed.
They shall bear blossoms with the fall;
I have their word for this,
Who tend my roots with rains of gall,
And suns of prejudice.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on January 15, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
From Homage to Clio by W. H. Auden, published by Random House. Copyright © 1960 W. H. Auden, renewed by the Estate of W. H. Auden. Used by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd.
is like being burned up
in a twelfth-floor elevator.
Or drowned in a flipped SUV.
It’s like waking with scalpels
arrayed on my chest.
Like being banished to 1983.
Having a fight with you
is never, ever less horrid: that whisper
that says you never loved me—
my heart a stalled engine
out the little square window.
Your eyes a white-capped black sea.
Copyright © 2022 by Patrick Phillips. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 11, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.