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Sarah Gambito

Sarah Gambito holds degrees from the University of Virginia and Brown University. She is the author of three collections, most recently Loves You (Persea Books, 2019). 

Gambito is the recipient of a Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers award from Poets and Writers, the Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts from the Asian American Arts Alliance, and a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A cofounder of Kundiman, a nonprofit organization serving Asian American writers, she is the Director of Creative Writing and an associate professor of English at Fordham University. She lives in New York City.


Bibliography

Loves You (Persea Books, 2019)
Delivered (Persea Books, 2009)
Matadora (Alice James Books, 2004)

By This Poet

10

Toro

I'm looking for the good robin of everlasting sewing.

Easy as a bed to bed.

And his words are mints.

My shock in the ghost of the guest of my boyfriend.

First there is the Father.

He would not like me to tell you about him.

He is punching holes right now.  Saying petit, petit, petit.

Garbled—he can seem like a balloon.  Such a skin. A kingfisher.

We are afraid to touch him.

Like too many nights of touching ourselves.

He might plan to take us on a picnic.

We must be ready.  We must be hungry.

I finished my blue necklace.

She tries to convince him because he was here on earth.

Dad quits his job for the umpteenth time.

I'm wicked lonely.

We are in a department store.

I buy him a blue bracelet because it is right there.

And I would wear it.

I buy it hoping he bought me something for Christmas.

This is never true of course.

We talk about religion.  Of jasper things in trees.

He wears an engagement ring.

I am shivery, full of V-8.

He drinks too much and cheats all the time.

All of whom he left behind in the Bible belt are singing Yes, yes yes

We put our hands over our face, our neck.

We are overcome, saying, "No, no. I can't. I can't."

The Good Provider

The best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact.
My mother took my heart out.  She banked it on top of her stove.
It glowed white.  She put it back in my chest.

Tita knew that overseas workers often had affairs.
He licked me and I pretended it pinged through my body like a swift idea
That I wrote about and considered like a bell of good craftsmanship.
She also knew that their kids ate better

He said your belly is like a cat's.
He said with his bowl up to his chin
More please.

At night the fireflies come out.  They flock to my window.
I put my hands up against the screen.
I think how fragile it is to be inside a house.
They say I want permission

I paint my face.  I say—just take it.
Easy.  If equally matched, we can offer battle.
If unequal in any way, we can flee from him.

Deprived of their father while sustained by his wages.
I thought a lot about walking around at night.
By myself.  Just to think.  But I never did.
I thought I could just flick a switch.

When I was born, my mother and father gave me a gardenia like personal star.
Don't you hate it when someone apologizes all the time?
It's like they are not even sorry.

Holiday

I want to lick someone 

with an antelope for a head.

A whole-person-boxer for a fist.

Circulatory, fruited over 

nostalgia to overcome me like

a truck I'll drive over his body 

while he reaches for a 

telephonic breast.  The way gods 

do when they create 

the first animal cracker

steams of existence.

Fat plant and vernix.

The shattered cursive equations

my love was capable of.

I said there will never be a night like this

How is it I was right?

How fibrous and incidental it seems.

The tiny leather jackets we wore.

What was it about that quality that I admired?

Loping around like a christening pole-cat.