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7: K. Iver

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

Central Park

by K. Iver

Inside my lover’s mouth, I taste what I can’t touch,
the Octobering of sycamores, the boulder
tourists stand on for selfies, the choreography of kites.
This is where desire begins: this pulse from lip
to throat. I want you means my mouth wakes me up
asking to close around you. Psychologists say
oral fixation points to adult addiction.
My addiction to lovers made adulthood
possible. Loneliness will absolutely rot away teeth.
My mouth has always known the stakes.
In our hotel room, my lover leans over me,
says open your mouth before he spits.
The deep “p” sound of his lips–another
command. Inside my cheeks, the first complete
echo. My lover prods my lips down and sideways
like a dentist. He tongues the surface of every tooth.
He opens his vulva above my face, says suck,, softly. I can’t,
not softly.

Copyright ©2023  by K. Iver. This poem was originally published in the Bat City Review (April 2023).

About the Author

k. iverK. Iver (they/them) is a nonbinary trans poet born in Mississippi. Their book Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco won the 2022 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry from Milkweed Editions. Their poems have appeared in Boston Review, Kenyon Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. Iver has received fellowships from The Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. They have a Ph.D. in Poetry from Florida State University. For more, visit

Queer Poem a Day graphic

Queer Poem a Day: Lineage Edition

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 third year of our series is the AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, 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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