Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.
gxrl gospel iv: beast of a southern wild
by Aurielle Marie
even my father fell for it, forgot I was
softened and fragile. my mother too—
so consumed in her grief that she never stopped
to ask where the rage in me was born & so could
for the purposes of this poem, be considered dead—
GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS!
once, without consenting, i cleaned the mess
my father made of my mother, her lipstick
spilled terribly across the black windows
of his mistress. which of these women was the animal? Look:
a daughter plans a wedding and a funeral with no tears
SHOW ME YA GUNS!
i never could prove i wasn’t leaking from
these familial wounds when i finally found creatures
similar to me, holdin the names of other womxn
in they jaws like blessed oil. I discovered softly
or, like a freedom too queer and felt myself suddenly naked
LEMME SEE EM.
bi, as in where two or more are gathered in my name
bi, as in where the sweat pools and i find myself unafraid
bi, as in my father punished me like a mirror
bi, like i want to expand, expand, expand
bi, meaning opposite of scarcity
bi, as in i cum in many languages, for several breeds of tongues
AND WHAT I SAY? NO CRYING!
I was 8 and longing rolled beneath me
a world of its own.
soft as the belly of a magnolia leaf.
NO CRYING! SHOW ME YOU CAN DO IT!
Copyright © Aurielle Marie 2020. A version was originally published in their collection Gumbo Ya Ya(University of Pittsburg Press, 2020).
About the Author
Aurielle Marie is an award-winning poet, essayist, and cultural strategist. They are a Black queer storyteller, a political organizer, and child of the Deep South by way of Atlanta. Their poetry debut, Gumbo Ya Ya, won the 2020 Cave Canem prize and is a Lambda Literary Award finalist.
- Day 1: Self Portrait as a Body, a Sea by Donika Kelly
- Day 2: Birthday Suits by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza
- Day 3: Obsessions by Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué
- Day 4: The Baby Inside My Baby by Nomi Stone
- Day 5: To Be Saved by CM Burroughs
- Day 6: At the New York City AIDS Memorial by Stefania Gomez
- Day 7: Love in the Time of PrEP by Jaques Rancourt
- Day 8: The Morning After by Ellen Bass
- Day 9: Argument of Situations by Shangyang Fang
- Day 10: Ode to Sneakers by Tory Adkisson
- Day 11: Boombox Ode: Enjoy the Silence
- Day 12: Soon by Makshya Tolbert
- Day 13: Photograph by Jenny George
- Day 14: Salt Lake City by Christian Gullette
- Day 15: Humpty Dumpty by Spencer Reece
- Day 16: The Antihero by Megan Fernandes
- Day 17: On Growing Bored with Synonyms for the Apocalypse, I Rename It Carl… by C. Russell Price
- Day 18: All My Friends are Sad & Bright by Cameron Awkward-Rich
- Day 19: 2000 miles and this is the love letter I send you over text by Noa/h Fields
- Day 20: Book VI from The Queerness of Eve by Emilia Phillips
- Day 21: Oracle by Ari Banias
- Day 22: gxrl gospel iv: beast of a southern wild by Aurielle Marie
- Day 23: Let There Be Pride by Richard Blanco
- Day 24: Jacob Riis Memorial Beach by Stephen Ira
- Day 25: from Dependence, the Joistrix / How you are made by Emily Martin
- Day 26: The Need for Repitition by Jim Whiteside
- Day 27: Arm’d and Fearless by Julian Gewirtz
- Day 28: Polyamory by Madeleine Cravens
- Day 29: GPOY as Rainbowfrog.gif by Aerik Francis
- Day 30: Gay Epithalamium by Benjamin Garcia
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.