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 
the moon        
on the moon

Copyright © 2021 by Chen Chen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 31, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

I shall never have any fear of love, 
Not of its depth nor its uttermost height,
Its exquisite pain and its terrible delight.
I shall never have any fear of love.

I shall never hesitate to go down
Into the fastness of its abyss
Nor shrink from the cruelty of its awful kiss.
I shall never have any fear of love.

Never shall I dread love’s strength
Nor any pain it might give.
Through all the years I may live
I shall never have any fear of love.

I shall never draw back from love
Through fear of its vast pain
But build joy of it and count it again.
I shall never have any fear of love.

I shall never tremble nor flinch
From love’s moulding touch:
I have loved too terribly and too much
Ever to have any fear of love.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 20, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

We could promise to elope
like my grandmother did
if a football team won

on homecoming night.
We could be good queers?
An oxymoron we never

longed for. We could
become wed-locked
as the suffix was once intended:

laiko, Common Teutonic for play,
not loc, Old English for a cave,
an enclosure. Instead

of a suit, I could wear my T-shirt
that avows, “Support Your Right
to Arm Bears!” Or we could

wed in bear suits
just as I saw people do
one summer in San Francisco

standing amid a grassy median
during rush hour.
They were so personally

anonymously political
blocking the ocean breeze
in acrylic fur.

Forget such solemnities!
I want to run through streets
shouting up to all my beloveds’ windows:

Friends! In sickness and in health
I refuse to forsake you!
on Charlotte Street, Home,

Euclid, Decatur, Union,
Straubs, Rebecca, Bennett Ave.,
38th, Woolslayer Way.

In the only wedding I was a part of
I was the flower girl
who held up the ceremony

kneeling to drop equal dividends of
petals beside every pew,
refusing to leave anyone out.

Let us speak without occasion
of relations of our choosing!
Tied intricately

as the warps and wefts
amid mats of moss,
without competing for sunlight

our hairy caps are forever
lodging in spaces
that myopic travelers can’t see.

Of such loves unwrit, at the boundary layer
between earth and air,
I feel most clear.

From In Full Velvet. Copyright © 2017 by Jenny Johnson. Used by permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Sarabande Books,

          Look, Dear, how bright the moonlight is to-night!
          See where it casts the shadow of that tree
          Far out upon the grass. And every gust
          Of light night wind comes laden with the scent
          Of opening flowers which never bloom by day:
          Night-scented stocks, and four-o'clocks, and that
          Pale yellow disk, upreared on its tall stalk,
          The evening primrose, comrade of the stars.
          It seems as though the garden which you love
          Were like a swinging censer, its incense
          Floating before us as a reverent act
          To sanctify and bless our night of love.
          Tell me once more you love me, that 't is you
          Yes, really you, I touch, so, with my hand;
          And tell me it is by your own free will
          That you are here, and that you like to be
          Just here, with me, under this sailing pine.
          I need to hear it often for my heart
          Doubts naturally, and finds it hard to trust.
          Ah, Dearest, you are good to love me so,
          And yet I would not have it goodness, rather
          Excess of selfishness in you to need
          Me through and through, as flowers need the sun.
          I wonder can it really be that you
          And I are here alone, and that the night
          Is full of hours, and all the world asleep,
          And none can call to you to come away;
          For you have given all yourself to me
          Making me gentle by your willingness.
          Has your life too been waiting for this time,
          Not only mine the sharpness of this joy?
          Dear Heart, I love you, worship you as though
          I were a priest before a holy shrine.
          I'm glad that you are beautiful, although
          Were you not lovely still I needs must love;
          But you are all things, it must have been so
          For otherwise it were not you. Come, close;
          When you are in the circle of my arm
          Faith grows a mountain and I take my stand
          Upon its utmost top.  Yes, yes, once more
          Kiss me, and let me feel you very near
          Wanting me wholly, even as I want you.
          Have years behind been dark?  Will those to come
          Bring unguessed sorrows into our two lives?
          What does it matter, we have had to-night!
          To-night will make us strong, for we believe
          Each in the other, this is a sacrament.
          Beloved, is it true?

This poem is in the public domain. 

translated by Ursula K. Le Guin

Give me your hand and give me your love,
give me your hand and dance with me.
A single flower, and nothing more,
a single flower is all we'll be.

Keeping time in the dance together,
singing the tune together with me, 
grass in the wind, and nothing more,
grass in the wind is all we'll be.

I'm called Hope and you're called Rose:
but losing our names we'll both go free,
a dance on the hills, and nothing more,
a dance on the hills is all we'll be.

Dame La Mano 

Dame la mano y danzaremos;
dame la mano y me amarás.
Como una sola flor seremos,
como una flor, y nada más.

El mismo verso cantaremos,
al mismo paso bailarás.
Como una espiga ondularemos,
como una espiga, y nada más.

Te llamas Rosa y yo Esperanza;
pero tu nombre olvidarás,
porque seremos una danza
en la colina y nada más. 

From Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral: Translated by Ursula K. Le Guin. Copyright © 2003 Ursula K. Le Guin. Courtesy of University of New Mexico Press. 

I like being with you all night with closed eyes.
What luck—here you are
along the stars!
I did a road trip
all over my mind and heart
there you were
kneeling by the roadside
with your little toolkit
fixing something.

Give me a world, you have taken the world I was.

Copyright © 2020 by Anne Carson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 10, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

Love in a garden of poppies
Playing at living life,
Love with smiles in her speech,
Love dancing at dawn
In a garden of flushed pink poppies.

Love, unsmiling now,
At noon in the garden of poppies,
With a laugh under her eyelids,
Fear deep in her eyes,
And tangled with her hair,
Sighs and a struggling joy.

Love, with a dim, strained face,
At night in the garden of poppies,
Her lips crushing the bloom
From the fairest flower there.
Love drunk with the wine
She has drawn from the poppy’s heart:
Love with death at her breasts.

Love at the end of night
Shaded by drooping poppies;
Love with scattered hair
And strange stains on her lips.
Love with death at her breasts.

From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain. 

Yesterday we walked apart, 
Separate and cold and mortal. 
Now the mystic kiss has joined us, 
Now we stand inside the portal

That permits of no returning,
And my heart is strangely burning. 

I know not what the word may be, 
Or what the charm, or what the token, 
That has filled us with this glory. 
But never let the charm be broken. 

Let it stay a mystery
For all time to be. 

Yesterday, with lighter joys,
We wantoned at the outer portal. 
Now, with love’s old alchemy, 
We have made ourselves immortal. 

From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain. 

I shall not harm you at all nor ask you
        for anything,
You need have no fear;
I am only very tired and would like to
        rest awhile
With my head here
And play with the long strands of your
        loosed hair,
Or touch your skin,
Feel your cool breath on my eyes,
        watch it stir
Those rising hills where your breasts begin;
And listen to your voice whispering
        tender words
Until, perhaps, I fall asleep;
Or feel you kiss my forehead to comfort me
        a little
If I should weep.
That is all, just to lie so beside you
Till dawn's lamp is lit.
You need not fear me. I have given
        too much of love
Ever to ask for it.

From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain.