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

gxrl gospel iv: beast of a southern wild

by Aurielle Marie

even my father fell for it, forgot I was
softened and fragile. my mother too—
so consumed in her grief that she never stopped
to ask where the rage in me was born & so could
for the purposes of this poem, be considered dead—

GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS!

once, without consenting, i cleaned the mess
my father made of my mother, her lipstick
spilled terribly across the black windows
of his mistress. which of these women was the animal? Look:
a daughter plans a wedding and a funeral with no tears

SHOW ME YA GUNS!

i never could prove i wasn’t leaking from
these familial wounds when i finally found creatures
similar to me, holdin the names of other womxn
in they jaws like blessed oil. I discovered softly
or, like a freedom too queer and felt myself suddenly naked

LEMME SEE EM.

bi, as in where two or more are gathered in my name
bi, as in where the sweat pools and i find myself unafraid
bi, as in my father punished me like a mirror
bi, like i want to expand, expand, expand
bi, meaning opposite of scarcity
bi, as in i cum in many languages, for several breeds of tongues

AND WHAT I SAY? NO CRYING!

I was 8 and longing rolled beneath me
a world of its own.
soft as the belly of a magnolia leaf.

NO CRYING! SHOW ME YOU CAN DO IT!

Copyright © Aurielle Marie 2020.  A version was originally published in their collection Gumbo Ya Ya (University of Pittsburg Press, 2020). 

Aurielle Marie is an award-winning poet, essayist, and cultural strategist. They are a Black queer storyteller, a political organizer, and child of the Deep South by way of Atlanta. Their poetry debut, Gumbo Ya Ya, won the 2020 Cave Canem prize and is a Lambda Literary Award finalist.

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