Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.
Billow of Thistles
by Ruben Quesada
After Hieronymus Bosch
I have only ever left this planet once
in a billow of thistles
after snorting meth amphetamine
in an abandoned record store
in Hollywood, birds settling
into the windowsills.
A man whom I was engaged to
left me to take communion
with a Jesuit order in Ireland.
From Christ’s dress a thread spun itself
into the body of Adam
at his feet. From out of his palm
the translucent figure of Eve appeared.
I never heard from him again.
The salmon colored sky
eagerly held the night back
long enough for them
to recognize their flaws.
Copyright © 2020 by Ruben Quesada. Used with the permission of the author. The poem appeared in Mumber Magazine, Issue 2. Dec. 2020.
About the Author
Ruben Quesada is the author of Revelations and Next Extinct Mammal. His writing has appeared in The Best American Poetry, Harvard Review, American Poetry Review, and other anthologies and journals. He is a blogger at The Kenyon Review, the founding director of the monthly Mercy Street Readings. He lives in Chicago.
For more: rubenquesada.com
- Day 1: Pride Month by Shelley Wong
- Day 2: Is This or Is This True as Happiness by Derrick Austin
- Day 3: Nature Poem by Sam Herschel Wein
- Day 4: Ana I Don’t Forget by Gala Mukomolova
- Day 5: Eavesdropping on Adam and Eve by Andrea Cohen
- Day 6: Billow of Thistles by Ruben Quesada
- Day 7: Prayer for My Trans Siblings by H. Melt
- Day 8: Summer by Chen Chen
- Day 9: Embers by Henri Cole
- Day 10: Male Beauty by Richie Hofmann
- Day 11: [unsent draft] by Rachel Mennies
- Day 12: Forty by Julia Guez
- Day 13: Of Contour, of Cadence by Phillip B. Williams
- Day 14: The Men We Loved by Cyril Wong
- Day 15: Riding the Bus Back to Oxford by Catherine Pond
- Day 16: The Window by Jay Besemer
- Day 17: Want Could Kill Me by Xandria Phillips
- Day 18: What a Waste by Jill McDonough
- Day 19: Eros by Randall Mann
- Day 20: An Act by Michael M. Weinstein
- Day 21: Things I Didn’t Do With this Body and Things I Did by Amanda Gunn
- Day 22: Puzzle Pieces by D. A. Powell
- Day 23: Duplicity by Jameson Fitzpatrick
- Day 24: Is It True All Legends Once Were Rumors by Carl Phillips
- Day 25: High School Sleepovers with Straight Girls by Julian Guy
- Day 26: Abu Nuwas by Kazim Ali
- Day 27: Observation Car by Lauren Clark
- Day 28: Love Song by Eileen Myles
- Day 29: Donuts by Dan Kraines
- Day 30: The Lone Palm by Jenny Johnson
Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this second year of our series is the first movement, Schéhérazade, from Masques, Op. 34, by Karol Szymanowski, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.