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

Soon

by Makshya Tolbert

I make a space
on this line     for you,
desire a road
you lick across my body.
This is our borderless
night together, our first.
How I talk to my body of you,
how it listens.     Where
does desire take us
walking     as a beloved
says goats do     errant
and generous
and somehow still here.
Keep our blankets close.
You’ll have my weight soon
plays across the blanket’s pores
and soon     a new song
to sleep next to.
So only rain this morning
making me big again.
It just keeps happening
My mouth     your name underneath it.
Make me wide    enough
to live inside of    make me
rain inside this room.
I am only myself,
open and opening.
You wonder about touch.
I ask after shade.
That ungiven tenderness      I love
that it doesn’t leave      I love
when I am all leaves.
I’m no tree     no crown
but plenty of body.
Let me shade us
with the love I do have.
Make me a size
that keeps me here.

Copyright © 2022 by Makshya Tolbert, originally published on Queer Poem-a-Day, 2022 at the Deerfield Public Library.

Makshya Tolbert is a poet, cook, and potter who just found her way back to Virginia. Her recent poems and essays have been published in Interim, Narrative Magazine, Emergence Magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, Art Papers, The Night Heron Barks, For the Culture, Earth in Color, Odd Apples, and with poetry forthcoming in RHINO. Makshya is currently based in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she is a second-year MFA student walking the grounds of the University of Virginia. Makshya serves on the Charlottesville Tree Commission and is a 2022-23 Lead to Life Curatorial Fellow. In her free time, she is elsewhere— what Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. calls ‘that physical or metaphorical place that affords the space to breathe.’

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