not back, let’s not come back, let’s go by the speed of
queer zest & stay up
there & get ourselves a little
moon cottage (so pretty), then start a moon garden
with lots of moon veggies (so healthy), i mean
i was already moonlighting
as an online moonologist
most weekends, so this is the immensely
logical next step, are you
packing your bags yet, don’t forget your
sailor moon jean jacket, let’s wear
our sailor moon jean jackets while twirling in that lighter,
queerer moon gravity, let’s love each other
(so good) on the moon, let’s love
on the moon
Copyright © 2021 by Chen Chen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 31, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.
You don’t love me, you say, and deflate
our air mattress, meeting me at the fold.
We’re in a bad lesbian performance piece
You don’t eat the sandwich I make you.
I puncture your yoga ball. Or, the dog did
This is a drawing of the dog.
I meant to watch something and be still
for a long time.
I'm not sure what belongs to me.
It’s your money
stop asking me what you mean
Porcelain skunk, perfect Q-tip holder.
Ceramic parrot, good for something.
If you don’t trust me with this cup then wrap it yourself.
The dog hasn’t stopped barking in hours—anxious.
I know you can lift the chair, what you can do
is not the point.
from Without Protection. Copyright © 2019 by Gala Mukomolova. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Coffee House Press.
What was unforeseen is now a bird orbiting this field.
What wasn’t a possibility is present in our arms.
It shall be and it begins with you.
Our often-misunderstood kind of love deems dangerous.
How it frightens and confounds and enrages.
How strange, unfamiliar.
Our love carries all those and the contrary.
It is most incandescent.
So, I vow to be brave.
Clear a path through jungles of shame and doubt and fear.
I’m done with silence. I proclaim.
It shall be and it sings from within.
Truly we are enraptured
With Whitmanesque urge and urgency.
I vow to love in all seasons.
When you’re summer, I’m watermelon balled up in a sky-blue bowl.
When I’m autumn, you’re foliage ablaze in New England.
When in winter, I am the tender scarf of warm mercies.
When in spring, you are the bourgeoning buds.
I vow to love you in all places.
High plains, prairies, hills and lowlands.
In our dream-laden bed,
Cradled in the nest
Of your neck.
Deep in the plum.
It shall be and it flows with you.
We’ll leap over the waters and barbaric rooftops.
You embrace my resilient metropolis.
I adore your nourishing wilderness.
I vow to love you in primal ways.
I vow to love you in infinite forms.
In our separateness and composites.
To dust and stars and the ever after.
Intrepid travelers, lovers, and family
We have arrived.
Look. The bird has come home to roost.
From Threshold (CavanKerry Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Joseph O. Legaspi. Used with the permission of the author.
The human brain wants to complete—
The poem too easy? Bored. The poem too hard?
Angry. What’s this one about? Around the block
the easy summer weather, the picture-puff clouds
adrift in the blue sky that’s no paint-by-numbers.
In the corner garden, the cabbage butterfly
bothers the big leafy heads, trying to complete
its life cycle by hatching a horned monster to
chew holes in the green cloth manufactured so
laboriously by seed germ from air, water,
light, dirt. There’s no end to this, yes, no end.
Even when we want to stop, stop, stop! Even
when someone else calls us monster. Even when
we fear and hope that we will not have the final
Copyright © 2018 by Minnie Bruce Pratt. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 26, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.