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

Want Could Kill Me

by Xandria Phillips

I know this

from looking
into store fronts

taste buds voguing
alight from the way

treasure glows
when I imagine

pressing its opulence
into your hand

I want to buy you
a cobalt velvet couch

all your haters’ teeth
strung up like pearls

a cannabis vineyard
and plane tickets

to every island
on earth

but my pockets
are filled with

lint and love alone
touch these inanimate gods

to my eyelids
when you kiss me

linen leather
gator skin silk

satin lace onyx
marble gold ferns

leopard crystal
sandalwood mink

pearl stiletto
matte nails and plush

lips glossed
in my 90s baby saliva

pour the glitter
over my bare skin

I want a lavish life
us in the crook

of a hammock
incensed by romance

the bowerbird will
forgo rest and meals

so he may primp
and anticipate amenity

for his singing lover
call me a gaunt bird

a keeper of altars
shrines to the tactile

how they shine for you
fold your wings

around my shoulders
promise me that

should I drown
in want-made waste
the dress I sink in
will be exquisite

– for Dominique

Copyright © 2019 by Xandria Phillips. Used with the permission of the author. Originally published in HULL (2019.)

Xandria Phillips is a Whiting Award-winning poet, and visual artist from rural Ohio. The recipient of a LAMBDA Literary Award, and the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging writers, Xandria is the author of HULL (Nightboat Books 2019) and Reasons for Smoking, which won the 2016 Seattle Review Chapbook Contest judged by Claudia Rankine. They have received fellowships from Brown University, Callaloo, Cave Canem, The Conversation Literary Festival, Oberlin College, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and are the 2021-2023 Center for African American Poetry and Poetics Fellow. Their current projects include an experimental nonfiction manuscript, a book of ekphrastic poetry, and an ever-growing visual art studio practice. Xandria’s poetry has appeared in Berlin Quarterly Review, BOMB Magazine, Crazyhorse, Poets.org, and Virginia Quarterly Review and anthologies such as Best Experimental Writing (Weslyan Press 2020) and We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books 2020). Their paintings have been featured in Kenyon Review, The Poetry Project, and the cover of American Poets Magazine. For more, visit them at xandriaphillips.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.