Published on Academy of American Poets (

[there must be one thing you can’t have in order to be alive]

there must be one thing you can’t have in order to be alive 

watching flowers open on youtube 

I mean, my life is wasted on my life

requirement is simple 

it takes a wound to

return to yourself 

the new sky 

is the same as the old one

its achy maw 

its barbwire grip 

people are whatever they are next to

that won’t remember them

a dumb desert 

a broken open sign

whatever I love best

reminds me of something else


Copyright © 2021 by Jon-Michael Frank. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 11, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets

About this Poem

“I wrote this during a punishingly hot Philadelphia summer. The sound of dirt bikes and busted open fire hydrants was everywhere. I remember writing it while sweating. I remember being in love.”
Jon-Michael Frank


Jon-Michael Frank

Jon-Michael Frank is author of the poetry chapbook Nostalgia Flower (Witch Craft Mag, 2016) and the graphic novels, Dark Garbage (Floating World, 2019), and Is This The Right Color.... (Floating World, 2019).

Date Published: 2021-06-11

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