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Day 28: Polyamory by Madeleine Cravens

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


by Madeleine Cravens

Snow falls in fat flakes.
At the restaurant, the painter puts her hand
against my face. We describe what we can see: the view
from the booth, the group of suited businessmen,
their mouths stretched wide with laughter.

I picture a world without ownership.
If I don’t care about being lovable,
I will become the most lovable I’ve ever been—

Wait. I’m failing again. I am like my mother
but with more innovative language.
My version of the city has ten stadiums.
An artificial island built on stilts.

Real oak trees grow there. I try to see
the wonder of plurality, being one of many.
The painter walks me home. Later, she walks home again.

Copyright © 2022 by Madeleine Cravens. This poem is originally published on Queer Poem-a-Day.

About the Author

Author headshotMadeleine Cravens is a 2022-2024 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She received her M.F.A from Columbia University, where she was a recipient of the Max Ritvo Poetry Fellowship. She was the first-place winner of Narrative Magazine’s 2021 Poetry Contest and 2020 30 Below Contest, a semifinalist for the 92 Street Y’s 2021 Discovery Prize, and a finalist for the 2022 James Hearst Poetry Prize.


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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