It’s been a while since I’ve rounded up my favorite things, so I’m jumping back in with a poetry-only list. 13 incredible poems/collections. Dive in, get lost, use them to find your way.
I. More of one thing
Doesn’t rhyme with one thing.
“Violins” by Rowan Ricardo Phillips (POETRY)
II. every shard a memory
of color wholly illuminated.
“Immaculate” by Hannah Cohen (The Shallow Ends)
III. Remember how you’d catch me
as I fell from trees?
“The Lost Woods as Elegy for Black Childhood” by Derrick Austin (Poets.org)
IV. We cannot destroy
all that threatens us & ice will not slake your salted tongue.
“Self-Portrait as Han to Leia, On Hoth” by Amorak Huey (Four Way Review)
V. Here, things are beginning
to peel apart: my skin, the ceiling paint,
even the fruit in the fridge.
“Portrait of the Alcoholic with Shattered Pelvis” by Kaveh Akbar (The Georgia Review)
VI. Was I already wounded? A gazelle with a limp.
“Un-naming a Thing” by Emari DiGiorgio (Split Lip Magazine)
VII. Somewhere someone rises
far earlier than you
“Someone” by Joseph O. Legaspi (Poets.org)
VIII. Whisper, don’t scare her. Poor child, poor child,
poor blood of our blood. Press a clean cloth
to the wound, whisper prayers
“Instructions to Kill a Daughter’s Minotaur” by Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Clasp)
IX. You, too, have lost a language today,
one that once called the day moon
white-throated sparrow. A language
that had no word for language, or airport
or loss. Just wait.
“Three Mornings” by Mark Wagenaar (The Body Distances)
X. There was a need
to be weak and I met
it. I appeared in the confusion
between strength and
“A Doe Replaces Iphigenia on the Sacrificial Altar” by Robyn Schiff (A Woman of Property)
XI. I dropped down against the mosque wall
curled my shoulders in
let my feet fall apart
tilting toward the rubble-dusted floor
tried to still my lashes
“Theater” by Solmaz Sharif (Look)
XII. A pit opens up and as one goes under, someone’s hand reaches out
to hold the bedsheet. It is momentarily recognizable as one’s own.
“The Object in Hand” by Martha Ronk (Transfer of Qualities)
XIII. So I came back and there it was, my seaside body. The city like a net,
and the world’s sorrow at high tide.
I can almost hear the waves approaching, reaching my doorstep
“The Tide” by Natalia Theodoridou (Ninth Letter)
(painting is “Untitled” by Joan Mitchell)