Published on Academy of American Poets (

The American middle class...

The American middle class is screwed again but they don’t know it. Politics is a gleaming nowhere. Žižek fantasizes about Capitalism’s inevitable end. Reviewers want these poems to be more hopeful. Love is obvious. She’s a tutu shelter leaning out! Love is miraculous. She’s twirling quite naturally! We dangle our feet in a July swimming pool. Shoots sparkles from our eyes—to quiet to quiet all our little monsters. Street habits rear up. Any fire. Any quell. Who’s made it to well being? The television projects hysterical grief. Brown women wailing fall to knees draped over. We are only who we are supposed to be. No moon tonight, dear one.


Copyright © 2016 by Dawn Lundy Martin. From Life in a Box Is a Pretty Life (Nightboat Books, 2016). Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database


Dawn Lundy Martin

Dawn Lundy Martin is author of four books of poetry including most recently, Good Stock Strange Blood (Coffee House Press 2018), winner of the 2019 Kingsley Tufts Award. She is the Toi Derricotte Chair in English and Director of the Center for African American Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh.

Date Published: 2016-04-27

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