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

Ana I Don’t Forget 

by Gala Mukomolova

Ana, I don’t forget those mornings I rested in your childhood
blizzard town, where time froze and we walked knee-deep

in atmosphere
toward each other.

I was a stranger everywhere, I wept at the homeness of your language
weight of your pen’s black line, circumference

of your thick hair bound—impossibly ungendered. Leather
satchel at your chest heavy with stones, a spell.

Today’s wind is bold, my windows shake with language.
What is the message? Birds, trees, and buildings register

although they’re human-made. I think I might be otherwise.
Wish I wasn’t prone to put myself in the center of stories

of the Earth, the heart, its weather. This clear sky is otherwise
radiant. It streams through glass onto my hands

warming them. Sometimes I see a woman with rings
on every finger and think of drives north to Astoria.

That baker gave us her begonia because I loved its underside
—hot red hearts—she loved us, our strangerness.

Raw buckwheat honey we bought off the truck religiously,
road over Youngs River so close to water I could taste it.

Anxious for wild coastline, there are days when I think I know
why we loved each other, readily, away from daily life

rarely in it. Days I unknow
like death unwinds a clock.

Unknowing is a kind of language too, a kind of wind.
If we had known how to forgive each other at the same time—

In the shadowlight, staring at a satellite, imagining an owl.
It is impossible to really know another person, you taught me that.

Wild things come as often as they leave, don’t they?

Copyright © 2021 by Gala Mukomolova. Used with the permission of the author. Previously published in Home is Where You Queer Your Heart Anthology.

Gala Mukomolova is a Moscow-born, Brooklyn-raised, poet and essayist. Her full-length book, Without Protection, is available through Coffee House Press. Her chapbook, One Above One Below: Positions & Lamentations, is available with YesYes Books. She is a recipient of the 2016 Discovery Prize from 92nd St Y & Boston Review and has held residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Pink Door, and ASYLUM Arts. Gala currently writes astrology articles for Refinery29, co-hosts Big Dyke Energy Podcast, and is one of the creators of QueerHealers.com. She is a founder and part of The Cheburashka Collective. For more: galacticrabbit.com

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 our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library.