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From Suzanne Buffam:

November 8, 2020

I repeat the names of all the cities I’ve known
And watch an ant drag its crooked shadow home.

What does it mean to love the life we’ve been given?
To act well the part that’s been cast for us?

Wind. Light. Fire. Time.
A train whistles through the far hills.

One day I plan to be riding it.

From Enough

From Philip Larkin:

November 4, 2020

Four o’clock: wedge-shadowed gardens lie
Under a cavernous, a wind-picked sky.
There’s something laughable about this,

The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow
Loosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart
(Stone-coloured light sharpening the roofs below)

High and preposterous and separate—

From Sad Steps

From Louise Bogan:

October 31, 2020

I do not know how we can bear
The river struck by the gold plummet of the moon,
Or many trees shaken together in the darkness.
We shall wish not to be alone
And that love were not dispersed and set free—
Though you defeat me,
And I be heavy upon you.

From Leave-Taking

From Adrienne Rich:

October 28, 2020

I won’t tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light—
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.

And I won’t tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it’s necessary
to talk about trees.

From What Kind of Times are These

From C.D. Wright:

October 25, 2020

How summer’s children turn
into fish and rain softens men

How the elements of summer
nights bid us to get down with each other
on the unplaned floor

And this feels painfully beautiful
whether or not
it will change the world one drop

From Lake Echo, Dear

From Gbenga Adesina:

October 22, 2020

Glory of plums, femur of Glory.
Glory of ferns
on a dark platter.

Glory of dark horses
running furiously
inside their own

dark horses.

From Glory

From William Evans:

July 28, 2020

I did wash the mud
from my fingernails before
I arrived—I’m still
laughing, by the way, still
hoarding my teeth deeper
within me, I am a [library]
full of the times I yanked
something apart and the times
I went hungry
and the times I let my hair grow
and grow and grow
until I was a snarl of a thing
and I ate everything
the party could offer me,
like I could never
become full.

– Social Experiment in Which I Am the [Bear]


From Asiya Wadud:

July 25, 2020

let’s celebrate our substance
subsistence in
amber rivulets of stilllife
constellations how you molded me
country how we became it
the longitude is a contested border
my longest muscle I named familiar

attention as a form of ethics [excerpt]

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From Claire Wahmanholm:

July 22, 2020

Instead, the poem is full of competent trees,
sturdy and slow-growing. The trees live on a wide
clean lawn full of adults. All night, the adults grow
older without somersaulting or spinning. They grow
old while thinking about themselves. They sleep well
and stay out late, their nerves coiled neatly inside
their grown bodies. They don’t think about children
because children were never there to begin with.

Poem with No Children In It

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From Dante Di Stefano:

July 17, 2020

begins when you hail
the sky sun & wind
the verdure inside
your heart’s four chambers
even garter snakes
and unnamed insects
in the underbrush
as you would a love
that rivers: hi—hi

My Eighteen-Month-Old Daughter Talks to the Rain as the Amazon Burns


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