I have this disease. It involves perching at parties like some dark owl and slowly shifting into a circling vulture. But I’ve cracked a couple things like bones against a cliff. For one, every body is a capsule—a collection of lighters, lucky pennies, and pocket lint. And two, there’s no way for me to, reach into you and stretch into your fingertips like gloves. It's all in the synapsing—the way the fluid of your inner ear reflects the swishing of vodka in your stomach. Your evening is an arch, brought to you by the white round pill that carves you out in parabola. Still, there is no hearing. There is the outside world and then the way your ear canals whisper into your mind. All but your voice—which is softest when you have the most to say.

Copyright © 2018 by Emily Hunerwadel. This poem originally appeared in Professional Crybaby (Poetry Society of America, 2018). Used with permission of the author.

Dichroic. Glass: half-empty, half-full. As in my paperwork glowered; my paperweight glowed. A hard drive. Backing up. By the hour. We cannot be bought. But, we flower.

Flour to coat the bottom of a pan. Sometimes a moment, I understand! A window. Light. Diachronic. Glass: mourning, This, too, shall pass.

Copyright © 2018 by Amy Sara Carroll. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 23, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Of course I don’t know what
happens to us: if we survive in the
hands of love; if Cal, if Simone
and all the trembling answers
those questions entail; whether
by time or by disease or by
an atom bomb right in the eye. Is it
possible death could be thrilling
and fun? And after could there be
something somewhere and what
will we do if we see each other
there? Will the same songs stay stuck
in our heads? Will medicine
succeed in making life so long
we will beg for medicine to end it?
One cannot lock eyes with a bird,
its eyes vacant as ball bearings, but
mustn’t there be some recognition
in everything? Some fury, some
questioning? If one phrase could echo
throughout eternity, would the ear
on the other side return
a word? But what am I asking?
Will I ever see a whale, and will his size
compared to mine be a true
form of knowledge? Loneliness
has depths writing fails to fathom.
I could be clearer, say more, but
it wouldn’t mean as much. Mother
will I ever find you again? Is fear
of spiders fair? Is a power
above minding the scales, be it
science or gods or the weather,
and can they be tipped toward
balance from here? Is beauty more
than another form of pleasure?
What, which, when, how is better?

From The Trembling Answers. Copyright © 2017 by Craig Morgan Teicher. Used with the permission of BOA Editions.