—Frida Kahlo, From a diary entry titled, “You are me” dated 1940
fleeting and unique. I want to catch
your tears and put a stop to the sadness
that threatens to envelope us
and propel us into obscurity. So kiss my knuckles
while I hold your soul and let us see
what comfort we can give our aching hearts.
I told the world to cry diamonds
because that’s how much pain is worth
and as your eyes drop I catch a gem,
note its radiance, 1.28 carats
of distress resting in my hand like thunder.
I smile into your mouth, my remedy
to your every malady, let my eyes
scream laughter and let my gaze fall
on you. You tilt your head back
and I bow my body down.
I take your fingers in mine and between
us we’re clasping your soul so tightly
it begins to bleed. You say, look how I hurt.
I say, yes, but dear, most wisdom stems from pain."
—Laala Kashef Alghata, “Kiss My Knuckles While I Hold Your Soul”
you gotta love every
part of me
set: as in the look of the mother-of-pearl air during the morning’s
afterglow. 2. The glow continuing after the disappearance of a
flame, as of a match or a lover, and sometimes regarded as a type
of phosphorescent ghost: This balm, this bath of light / This
cocktail of lust and sorrow, / This rumor of faithless love on a
neighbor’s lips, / This Monday morning, this Friday night, / This
pendulum of my heart, / This salve for my soul, / This tremble
from your body / This breast aflame, this bed ablaze / Where you
rub oil on my feet, / Where we spoon and, before sunrise, turn
away / And I dream, eyes open, / swimming / In this room’s pitch-
—A. Van Jordan, “af·ter·glow”
There are taller than you, taller.
There are purer than you, purer.
There are lovelier than you, lovelier.
But you are the queen.
When you go through the streets
No one recognizes you.
No one sees your crystal crown, no one looks
At the carpet of red gold
That you tread as you pass,
The nonexistent carpet.
And when you appear
All the rivers sound
In my body, bells
Shake the sky,
And a hymn fills the world.
Only you and I,
Only you and I, my love,
Listen to it."
—Pablo Neruda, Love Poems
want to live there. I’m sick
of cities, of coasts, of oceans
relentlessly nagging the beach. I want the meat
and potatoes of you, want the obvious
choice for big spoon to be you, want to
give up my cocksure swagger and swoon
over yours instead. I want
the senior prom and the picket-fenced
lawn and the American flag
on the back of your truck, want to fuck
like the other half does—want to god-bless
your foreign body, the whole long slim
length of you, the endless
prairie of your chest, the rough
plain of your cheek, your terraced
ribs, the muscled goldrush
thrust of you. Yes: I want the simple
plus-minus of us, the luxurious,
brainless, obvious-us, want to touch
you in public and relish
how nobody stares. Don’t tell me
your fears. Let’s just swap our worst
pick up lines. If I wanted love
I’d go back to Brooklyn, to the woman whose body
is so much like mine. But I want this whole
wild country, idiotically brave, catastrophically
free, and you, cowboy, to come home, home
on the range with me."
—Ali Shapiro, “American Dream”
Má Vlast: II. Vltava, Bedřich Smetana; Rafael Kubelík, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra