Friday, January 31, 2020

waiting on you to die so i can be myself by Danez Smith

waiting on you to die so i can be myself

a thousand years of daughters, then me.
what else could i have learned to be?

girl after girl after giving herself to herself
one long ring-shout name, monarchy of copper

& coal shoulders. the body too is a garment.
i learn this best from the snake angulating

out of her pork-rind dress. i crawl out of myself
into myself, take refuge where i flee.

once, i snatched my heart out like a track
& found not a heart, but two girls forever

playing slide on a porch in my chest.
who knows how they keep count

they could be a single girl doubled
& joined at the hands. i’m stalling.

i want to say something without saying it
but there’s no time. i’m waiting for a few folks

i love dearly to die so i can be myself.
please don’t make me say who.

bitch, the garments i’d buy if my baby
wasn’t alive. if they woke up at their wake

they might not recognize that woman
in the front making all that noise.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Mother by Maggie Smith

The Mother
The mother is a weapon you load
yourself into, little bullet.

The mother is glass through which
you see, in excruciating detail, yourself.

The mother is landscape.
See how she thinks of a tree
and fills a forest with the repeated thought.

Before the invention of cursive
the mother is manuscript.

The mother is sky.
See how she wears a shawl of starlings,
how she pulls the thrumming around her shoulders.

The mother is a prism.
The mother is a gun.

See how light passes through her.
See how she fires.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

If You’re Tired Then Go Take a Nap by Adrian Matejka

If You’re Tired Then Go Take a Nap
I never liked bridges or cops & there
are more of both of them in the suburbs,
lording over possibilities like stumbles
do stairs. Down the blue & white set next
to the small gym after first period, shoelace
caught under a new bully’s foot. He would
have gotten stole on in Carriage House, but
not by me. Gots to chill or it’ll get worse:
in blue Jams & pushed off summer’s slick
ledge, long fall into the private pool broken
into three distinct verses: the flail & giggling
girls, the sun-stroked lifeguard’s exclamation,
& the red-handed water’s backslap rising up,
splitting into two, more chlorinated skies.