Published on Academy of American Poets (

California No

You say intimacy breathes.
I drop in.

I know the sexiest
sentence there is—the most

erotic. I know it
like I know the last moment

wants to draw us

If we could say it doesn’t go
plainly as that

knowing the most intimate
line there is

or I know

on so many occasions those
yes yes yeses almost

what they yesed—



Copyright © 2018 by Rae Gouirand. Used with the permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Quarterly West Issue 94.


Rae Gouirand

Rae Gouirand is the author of two books of poetry: Glass is Glass Water is Water (Spork Press, 2018) and Open Winter (Bellday Books, 2011), winner of the Bellday Prize. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and is a lecturer in the Department of English at the University of California-Davis. 

Date Published: 2018-07-02

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