calle principe, 25 | jose tolentino mendonca
without warning we lose the vastness of the fields singular enigmas the clarity we swear we’ll preserve but it takes us years to forget someone who merely looked at us
like crazy | anna
i thought i understood it that i could grasp it but i didn’t, not really. only the smudgeness of it; the pink-slippered, all-containered, semi-precious eagerness of it. i didn’t realize it would sometimes be more than whole, that the wholeness was a rather luxurious idea. because it’s the halves that halve you in half. i didn’t know, don’t know, about the in-between bits; the gory...
song | marie borroff
love is a staying of desire, desire is flight and staying, dies; whatever you have heard in song, this is the truth; the rest is lies. nor is there touch or kiss to prove love other than a foredoomed thing, for though it may conceive love’s fire, the heart cannot sustain it long. lips heavy with the freight of love have hung above me like a bough; out of a deep and mastering drouth i reached...
countersong | marie borroff
yet, yet, in spite of all, love is, love lasts. though from the lax hand falls what it at first held fast, though custom stills the heartbeat of delight, though day’s each joy must pass beneath the pall of night, yet, yet, in time’s despite, and past all mortal ills, love is, love lasts; if the heart wills.
tree | jane hirshfield
it is foolish to let a young redwood grow next to a house. even in this one lifetime, you will have to choose. that great calm being, this clutter of soup pots and books— already the first branch-tips brush at the window. softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.
torch song for you | daphne gottleib
since you’ve gone, all i can do is sit at home and sing the great love songs. i don’t want to set the world on fire. i just want to start a small conflagration in your apartment that quickly grows into a five-alarm blaze and you grab the cat and your laptop and run out the door and i, having crawled down the fire escape, come strolling down the street and...
dawn revisited | rita dove
imagine you wake up with a second chance: the blue jay hawks his pretty wares and the oak stands still, spreading glorious shade. if you don’t look back, the future never happens. how good to rise in sunlight, in the prodigal smell of biscuits — eggs and sausage on the grill. the whole sky is yours to write on, blown open to a blank page. come on, shake a leg! you’ll never know...
anticipating an ianless christmas | virginia tamez
i sit in a room that is dark (but not dark enough) and is almost empty (but then there’s me) and listen to noise from another room (where people are happy) and think about you. i take off my glasses (so my tears won’t smear the lenses) and hope someone goes looking for me (but doesn’t find me) and realize that my hands are cold (my mind was elsewhere) and think about...
dogfish | mary oliver
you don’t want to hear the story of my life, and anyway i don’t want to tell it, i want to listen to the enormous waterfalls of the sun. and anyway it’s the same old story - - - a few people just trying, one way or another, to survive. mostly, i want to be kind. and nobody, of course, is kind, or mean, for a simple reason. and nobody gets out of it, having to swim through the...
we should talk about this problem | hafiz
there is a beautiful creature living in a hole you have dug. so at night i set fruit and grains and little pots of wine and milk beside your soft earthen mounds, and i often sing. but still, my dear, you do not come out. i have fallen in love with someone who hides inside you. we should talk about this problem—- otherwise, i will never leave you alone.
milos | anis mojgani
let us take a sack of spray paint and spray paint over the paintings let us dance through paris kiss in the shadow of the louvre crawl inside its windows scrawl manifestos over the canvases write morse code on the sculptures roll a sleeping bag on the floor to sleep inside of tell one another a story by flashlight unearth everything from before bury each other inside the other feed grapes to the...
oh yes | charles bukowski
there are worse things than being alone but it often takes decades to realize this and most often when you do it’s too late and there’s nothing worse than too late
snowshoe to otter creek | stacie cassarino
love lasts by not lasting —jack gilbert i’m mapping this new year’s vanishings: lover, yellow house, the knowledge of surfaces. this is not a story of return. there are times i wish i could erase the mind’s lucidity, the difficulty of sundays, my fervor to be touched by a woman two februarys gone. what brings the body back, grieved and cloven, tromping these woods with...
the great fires | jack gilbert
love is apart from all things. desire and excitement are nothing beside it. it is not the body that finds love. what leads us there is the body. what is not love provokes it. what is not love quenches it. love lays hold of everything we know. the passions which are called love also change everything to a newness at first. passion is clearly the path but does not bring us to love. it opens the...
death is a door | nancy byrd turner
death is only an old door set in a garden wall; on gentle hinges it gives, at dusk when the thrushes call. along the linted are green leaves, beyond the light lies still; very willing and weary feet go over that sill. there is nothing to trouble any heart; nothing to hurt at all. death is only a quiet door in an old wall.