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Day 13: Of Contour, of Cadence by Phillip B. Williams

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Of Contour, of Cadence

by Phillip B. Williams

Resist, don’t: the difference between what one thinks
the magnolias say—branches applauding
some animal act below—and what
they actually say…nothing

between us can
we prepare for, only postpone. I’ve learned

to plead and to please, another difference.


Turn your face that way where light no more
transfigures you than darkness makes a need for
transfiguration. Yes, the scar above your eye.

Blood had dropped from the wound, a curtain.

But I believe we are, inside, all blue, you said.
Listen, neither we nor blue make sky.
The earth spins and we, utterly, are spun.

Copyright © 2016 by Phillip B. Williams. Used with the permission of the author. Originally published in Thief in the Interior in 2016.

About the Author

Author headshotPhillip B. Williams is from Chicago, IL and is the author of the book Thief in the Interior (Alice James 2016). A recipient of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Lambda Literary Award, and Whiting Award, he currently teaches at Bennington College and the Randolph College low-residency MFA.

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2021 Queer Poem a Day

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.

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