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Day 21: Oracle by Ari Banias

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


by Ari Banias

I was wrong it isn’t

suffering that’s easy pleasure that’s difficult

How is it I have been living this way

holding my piss

a mirror scuffed by distant talk, secretly livid

worried what the dead would think?

Someone greets with only the top half of her head

brown curly hair behind a computer monitor

Today for one second a woman is anyone who has a body

and can’t forget it

The tight loops of the office carpet start to unhook

Some men are women too

the way a mountain is land and a harbor is land and a parking lot

Refuse the difference between sameness and difference

The ocean is on fire

green flame on the neck of a god

who is a pile of rocks

not apologizing for themselves

Copyright © Ari Banias.  Published in BathHouse Journal, and then in their collection A Symmetry (W. W. Norton, 2021).

About the Author

Author headshotAri Banias is the author of A SYMMETRY (2021), winner of the 2021 Publishing Triangle Award for Trans & Gender Variant Literature, and ANYBODY (2016), both from W.W. Norton. His poems have appeared in Bæst, Hyperallergic, The Nation, The New Republic, Triple Canopy, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Chicago.

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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