apocalyptic self-image crystallized affections of pious solace
emptiness from this ceaseless war
I want to sin
bliss hovering above the void
haptic fallout feverish blood
sun beats down
cheerful obscene boredom
singing with a hard fist
life's benevolent corruption
everything is hard against the tongue
into otherworldly paradise
make heaven my home
I never learn my lesson
Copyright © 2021 by Precious Okoyomon. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 29, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.
The past and present wilt—I have fill'd them, emptied them.
And proceed to fill my next fold of the future.
Listener up there! what have you to confide to me?
Look in my face while I snuff the sidle of evening,
(Talk honestly, no one else hears you, and I stay only a minute longer.)
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
I concentrate toward them that are nigh, I wait on the door-slab.
Who has done his day's work? who will soonest be through with his supper?
Who wishes to walk with me?
Will you speak before I am gone? will you prove already too late?
This poem is in the public domain.
exists to keep audiences
their mundane homelives, yet here
I am pacing my bedroom
and having serious
thoughts about trapeze
hands—and can you even
apply to be in a traveling act,
or do you need to be
discovered? I don’t want to be
famous, just remembered.
In high school I was
voted most likely to
ignore the demands
of men and gravity,
but it’s a difficult feat
when the two work together.
Like here, or
like in the flying trapeze:
man secures his hold,
gravity improves the swing.
Copyright © 2021 by Paige Lewis. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 19, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.
It’s the best part of the day, morning light sliding
down rooftops, treetops, the birds pulling themselves
up out of whatever stupor darkened their wings,
night still in their throats.
I never wanted to die. Even when those I loved
died around me, away from me, beyond me.
My life was never in question, if for no other reason
than I wanted to wake up and see what happened next.
And I continue to want to open like that, like the flowers
who lift their heavy heads as the hills outside the window
flare gold for a moment before they turn
on their sides and bare their creased backs.
Even the cut flowers in a jar of water lift
their soon to be dead heads and open
their eyes, even they want a few more sips,
to dwell here, in paradise, a few days longer.
Copyright © 2021 by Dorianne Laux. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 16, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.