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 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. 

Today I am setting aside the endless to-do lists,
the coffee filters that need picking up, the refrigerator
that has stopped working, the press releases about wave flooding 
inundations on Arno, Namu, Ailinlaplap, and the simultaneous drought. 
How can I feel lonely when I am submerged 
in catastrophe? In the constant reminder that someday 
this island could be gone. 
But that’s not the official messaging—is it?  
Instead, we say we will exist
indefinitely. Rooted against the tides,
rooted against trillion-dollar industries. We will,
we will. Exist. Exist. 

                                 It’s a kind of 
love, isn’t it? 
To commit to enduring. 
Despite, despite. And is my loneliness capable
of that kind of enduring love? 
Where are you? When I’m lost at sea
and there is no one to tell me where to go. 
Marshallese queerness doesn’t exist, 
should it? Even if I was to say 
I exist. Here I am. Do you? 

You are somewhere out there, 
covered in kaōnōn, its orange creeping
vines, parasitic, protecting you from demons.
And my loneliness, like coral
polyps, bobbing in the sea.

Copyright © 2024 by Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 20, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets. 

When I say first time, that implies 
there will be a second, a fourth, a ninety-ninth. 
From far away our teeth must look like Tic Tacs, 
Chiclets, moons of a faraway planet. Nocturnal 
animals can smell better at night because scent 
lingers when the air is still, and so I smell the mint 
of our mouths but also the spill of peppers 
from the salsa dropped on your shirt. The greasy 
sidewalks we walked an hour earlier. Hotel soap 
freshly bubbled and wet in the dish. When I root through 
the thicket or the brush pile, my fur turns electric striped 
and tail-tumbled. I foam at the mouth. The mask 
on my face means bandit. Turns out I love the dark. 
My little paws want to grab everything and wash it. 

Copyright © 2024 by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 6, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.