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Day 11: [unsent draft] by Rachel Mennies

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

[unsent draft]

by Rachel Mennies

Last night, Naomi, I typed piano music where you can hear the pianist breathing into my browser.

I tried to write to you at one a.m. and couldn’t begin, the habit of morning-letters already set.

Last night the ivory ranunculus—birthday flowers from a friend, the friend newly and still in love—finally opened on my writing desk, bright until their heads hung from the weight of their openness.

At my desk I searched for two women fucking and found nothing intimate enough to arouse me.

I refreshed my Twitter feed after a woman tweeted so often we sleep through the horrors of the world.

Last night I did not sleep, but I did nothing kind with my wakefulness.

I bought two books of poems online with the sole intention of reading them to you, thinking about how they would make you feel.

Last night I read that the season for ranunculus is April and felt guilty for my atemporal hungers.

For loving flowers that flatten the world.

Copyright © 2021 by Rachel Mennies. Used with the permission of the author. Previously appeared in On the Seawall on January 5, 2021.

About the Author

Author headshotRachel Mennies is the author of the poetry collections The Naomi Letters (BOA Editions, 2021) and The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards, the 2014 winner of the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry at Texas Tech University Press and finalist for a National Jewish Book Award. Her poetry has recently appeared at The Believer, Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Rachel’s essays, criticism, and other articles have appeared at The Millions, The Poetry Foundation, LitHub, and numerous other outlets. Mennies took over in 2016 as the series editor of the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry; she also serves as the reviews editor for AGNI. For more:

Queer Poem a Day graphic

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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