poetry 9: a poem should always have birds in it

Singapore -Mary Oliver In Singapore, in the airport, A darkness was ripped from my eyes. In the women’s restroom, one compartment stood open. A woman knelt there, washing something in the white bowl. Disgust argued in my stomach and I felt, in my pocket, for my...

poetry 8: once I believed in you

Vespers [“Once I believed in you…”] Once I believed in you; I planted a fig tree. Here, in Vermont, country of no summer. It was a test: if the tree lived, it would mean you existed. By this logic, you do not exist. Or you exist exclusively in warmer...

poetry 7: freeing the secret gods

Family Secrets -Toi Derricotte   They told my cousin Rowena not to marry Calvin―she was too young, just eighteen, & he was too dark, too too dark, as if he had been washed in what we wanted to wipe off our hands. Besides, he didn’t come from a good family....

poetry 6: consider the hands that write this letter

How do we write? Not just the physicality of the act, beautiful enough – hands against paper – but more than that: holding the door to ourselves shut and knocking to get in, simultaneously. Lovely. Lovely. A poem first posted on 37days for National Poetry...