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

To Be Saved

by CM Burroughs

The signs begin incrementally. Smally they plum

then dilate under the skin as egg

so that we are forced to acknowledge each incident

sometimes very human

the body shepherding itself to the bathroom in the night and

back again, gasping where a toe smashes into the bed’s

simple feet. For a moment, we wake to radiant pain opening

as pure sound. Sometimes very metal

There is worry that proliferates like operatic

throats. Signs happen such that

We are always gasping and awakening.

Copyright © 2021 by CM Burroughs. This poem first appeared in her book Master Suffering (2021, Tupelo Press).

CM Burroughs is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago and author of The Vital System (Tupelo, 2012) and Master Suffering (Tupelo, 2021,) which was longlisted for the National Book Award, Lambda Book Award, and the LA Times Book Award. Burroughs’ poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies including Poetry, Ploughshares, Cave Canem’s Gathering Ground, and Best American Experimental Writing.

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