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8: Amelia Ada

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

from Hard and Glad

by Amelia Ada

Lately being a bit extreme at parties –

lately wishing for more solitary force – admiring the word fuerza
a nuanced form of power and clarity and impact, not only physical
– walked to the dentist – why are little bits of plastic flaking off my
teeth – scraping against my tongue – this is the time for fuerza –
lately wishing I were a beautiful femme – almost shaved my beard
off but only trimmed it – my chin a bit more visible now – forgot
about its cleft, which I got from my mother – she finds hers very
alluring – Oh – there I go again –

Now I’m shopping for curtains – cannot help this consumption –
just want immaculate natural beauty all around me – this the desire
of orphans – no dyes nor added fragrances in my artifices – just a
fuzzy little peach in a ceramic bowl –

* * *

Exquisitely existing, an abundance of light and heat and play.

Don’t understand the words, instead the rhythm. Instead the thigh,
the calf, the pit. No part ignored in the common way. None left

Such fruitful misapprehensions, abundant – abound and I agree,
they in bed with me, the world does seem precipitously bright.

Play well, play it well, play it fairly well. And we who live here for
a time play fairly well. For too long I played too poorly. The
tongue cannot live on vowels alone. Neither can, nor I can, nor
how soon the moon and its blindly fleeing.

Let me recite it exquisitely. It exquisitely.

* * *

On this day,

the first after the lifting of the mask mandate, I am so eager to kiss

Look: A certain cat creeping. Little lizard on the burnt lawn.

Just today: learning the word cerise.

Copyright © 2024 by Amelia Ada. This poem will appear in collection Hard and Glad, forthcoming from DOPAMINE/Semiotext(e) May 2026. 

About the Author

Amelia AdaAmelia Ada is a trans poet and essayist, and she is currently a doctoral candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California. Her writing has appeared widely in journals, and she is the co-creator and co-host of the podcast You Shouldn’t Let Poets Lie To You. She lives in Los Angeles.

Queer Poem a Day graphic

Queer Poem a Day

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C Sharp Minor by Ethel Smyth, 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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