Goodness is better than evil	
Becuz it is nicer. I detest your

                                                     Holding me so high in the air
                                                     While I cry fat tears pre-bath
       Tap for more tweets, munch
       In the preserved meatlight

                                                     Ballads without preservations
                                                     Tidy outcome emblems

Hitching baggage to be verbs
Cartoon butchery, vulgar

                                                     Phrasings, crosswalk-like 
                                                     Pauses, so we don’t get hit

       No that’s all duration disease
       Bespitting florigins. I can see

                                                     Lateness blueing the ave B light
                                                     In advance of what gets called

Spring. Go talk about some
Paintings you can’t figure out

                                                     Shouldn’t have thought about 
                                                     You. Though you were individual

       Game tickets on sale. Moatful
       Pre-listserv, hesitant in light of

                                                     The pickoff portents & mean
                                                     Like me. A simile for meanness

On the gravy train till doomsday
A monument to perseverance

From Something for Everybody. Copyright © 2018 by Anselm Berrigan. Used with the permission of Wave Books.

   after Carrie Mae Weems’s Roaming series

Before I knew
how to fill my onyx body
with slick measures,

dip every curve
in my skin with dark sway,
I needed a picture.

Before me stood
a long black dress I called Woman—
you stand opaque

with your back to me,
a statue of witness,
the door of Yes—

I can Return
to the monument
of your silhouette

to find my longest muscle.
We both stare down
the ocean to stillness.

O, Carrie—
what are you trying
to tell me here?

I’ve been standing by water 
my whole damn life
trying to get saved.

From I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood. Copyright © 2018 by Tiana Clark. Used with the permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.

I am a citizen of two nations: Shawnee and American. I have one son who is a citizen of three. Before he was born, I learned that, like all infants, he would need to experience a change of heart at birth in order to survive. When a baby successfully breathes in through the lungs, the heart changes from parallel flow to serial flow and the shunt between the right and left atriums closes. Our new bodies obliterate old frontiers.

North America is mistakenly called nascent. The Shawnee nation is mistakenly called moribund. America established a mathematical beginning point in 1785 in what was then called the Northwest Territory. Before that, it was known in many languages as the eastern range of the Shawnee, Miami, and Huron homelands. I do not have the Shawnee words to describe this place; the notation that is available to me is 40º38’32.61” N 80º31’9.76” W.

From Instruments of the True Measure. Copyright © 2018 The Arizona Board of Regents. Used with the permission of University of Arizona Press.

You said bad men waited inside
your mouth, which meant a fire
was catching. We drove toward
a cloud of smoke that rose above
the city. In the mirror, I saw
the wide belt strapped across
your chest, and on the radio,
men stormed the gates
in another country. I do
love you, you said, looking out.
The window held the sun
flatly. I held my breath. The brush
had not been cleared in weeks,
and the mountain prepared to burn.

From Forgive the Body This Failure (Four Way Books, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Blas Falconer. Used with the permission of Four Way Books.

A candle: presented in the water

Shall the boundary: seen before the boundary: lift the law:

To the end as may be: to the end as first the fountain of a lower key: the
guaranty the virtue behind clarity which I make you: for this where

	neither dove nor crow has flown:

As the now to ascertain, in the yet obscured: we speak juxtaposed: in the
juxtaposed: without knowing what wills the ruins.

This treaty shall be: this treaty shall be: the boundary seen before the
signature: we speak now: the fountain of a lower key: the guaranty: the
greater wilt the virtue behind

	clarity: with bells on his ankles in the margins of story:

The treaty of amity, commerce & navigation: the treatise to fortify: in the
name of you: through virtue: in the near as you: the wilt which is body: a 
candle in water

With the now to ascertain, with it ever yet: shall the boundary be the
boundary not the treaty: we speak the yet: a single candle: where the
context exceeds the phrase:

We speak the candle: we speak water to announce the end:
to sincerity’s calamities: desire the end as may be:

	with it every yet, as the snow is to ascertain in it:
        near as you: the ruins where the will is free.

From Museum of the Americas (Penguin Books, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by J. Michael Martinez. Used with the permission of the author.

I was so willing to pull a page out of my notebook, a day, several bright days and live them as if I was only alive, thirsty, timeless, young enough, to do this one more time, to dare to have nothing so much to lose and to feel that potential dying of the self in the light as the only thing I thought that was spiritual, possible and because I had no other way to call that mind, I called it poetry, but it was flesh and time and bread and friends frightened and free enough to want to have another day that way, tear another page.

Excerpted from Evolution. Copyright © 2018 by Eileen Myles. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher, Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. All rights reserved.

I am writing you from the bathtub
where I am trying to ease my joints.
The pain seems to move from the front half 
of a joint to a back half.

I can’t track it across my body.

My pain is mild but deep—like it’s reminding
my body of something it once was.
It thinks I’m a baby:

Look at the oatmeal prepared for you daily,
and your electric blankets,
and it’s me you choose to lavish your attention on?

You have so much more than me,
though you had me first, when you were a Worm.

This pain thinks thinking is idiotic, embarrassingly juvenile,
and I’m proof of that.

And it’s not even the pain foremost,
it is the story of me in pain that is paining me.

I am possessed with self-pity, 
and it is expressing itself
out of my mouth. It sounds like a whole flock of sheep suddenly

realizing the flock is an imposed externality.

From The Final Voicemails. Copyright © 2018 by Max Ritvo. Used with the permission of Milkweed Editions.

In dim light now, his eyes
   straining to survey
the territory: here is the country
   of Loss, its colony Grief;
the great continent Desire
   and its borderland Regret;

vast, unfathomable water
   an archipelago—the tiny islands
of Joy, untethered, set adrift.
   At the bottom of the map
his legend and cartouche,
   the measures of distance, key

to the symbols marking each
   known land. What’s missing
is the traveler’s warning
   at the margins: a dragon—
its serpentine signature—monstrous
   as a two-faced daughter.

From Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey. Copyright © 2018 by Natasha Trethewey. Used with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

I read a Korean poem
with the line “Today you are the youngest
you will ever be.” Today I am the oldest
I have been. Today we drink
buckwheat tea. Today I have heat
in my apartment. Today I think
about the word chada in Korean.
It means cold. It means to be filled with.
It means to kick. To wear. Today we’re worn.
Today you wear the cold. Your chilled skin.
My heart kicks on my skin. Someone said
winter has broken his windows. The heat inside
and the cold outside sent lightning across glass.
Today my heart wears you like curtains. Today
it fills with you. The window in my room
is full of leaves ready to fall. Chada, you say. It’s tea.
We drink. It is cold outside.

From A Cruelty Special to Our Species (Ecco, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Emily Jungmin Yoon. Used with the permission of Ecco.