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

Arm’d and Fearless

by Julian Gewirtz

Out fast from that first city
this boy born under the sign of the swan
runs due north along a line of spoonwoods.

Leave behind your queen-sized bed,
silk pajamas, orchid, symbols,

and I the voice mumble magnolia
into no that air no

Come back to me sweet blue one
if I still flute song if it’s not gone

how can I say anything else?
………………..Broken kylix,

bowl with no horizontals,
husk: lean back. What’s two soft
hands emptying from its clay lip.

And I will be the painter chosen
to adorn the bottom of the cup:

my work invisible so long as
the cup is full.

Copyright © Julian Gewirtz, 2014. A version of this poem was originally published in Conjunctions.

Julian Gewirtz is the author of YOUR FACE MY FLAG (Copper Canyon Press, forthcoming October 2022). His poems have appeared in the Best American Poetry, Boston Review, Lambda Literary, The Nation, The New Republic, PEN America, Ploughshares, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. He is also the author of two books on the history of modern China, Never Turn Back: China and the Forbidden History of the 1980s and Unlikely Partners (“a gripping read” –The Economist). He co-edited an issue of Logic Magazine on China and technology and has written essays and reviews for publications including the New York Times, The Guardian, Harper’s, Foreign Affairs, Prac Crit, and Parnassus: Poetry in Review.

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