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Day 24: Jacob Riis Memorial Beach by Stephen Ira

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

Jacob Riis Memorial Beach

by Stephen Ira

Two good poems in a three day fuck
is a decent ratio, so I’m not trying
to go too hard here, but I thought
I’d be stupid to so to speak “waste”
a day at the beach. Lots to talk
about with water, and the cops
and my nerves and your friends. I walked
a lot around a little patch of sand.
I almost don’t want to say anything,
but it feels so good. I keep going
and everything keeps walking around
interrupting me, including you—not
in like, a bad way, just like how
Chartreuse showed up on the corner,
or the woman walking the gay beach
calling how she’s selling rum punch,
or you trying to pick my stuck door
with my lace needles, or me writing
in the middle of the night because
I’m too turned on to sleep because
you kiss in your sleep, and you’re
sleeping—or anything like that,
like, anything suddenly there.

Copyright © 2022 by Stephen Ira. Originally published in Chasers (New Michigan Press, 2022).

About the Author

Author headshotStephen Ira is a writer and performer. Favorite appearances, in various roles, include Poetry (Chicago), Fence, tagvverk, the Poetry Project Newsletter, La Mama Etc, the Sundance Film Festival, and the Philly Trans Wellness Conference.


Queer Poem a Day graphic

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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