I am asking you to touch me.

Dear readers, friends,

We find ourselves at the end of National Poetry Month once again. Thank you for joining me and taking a peek into the voices and words that have brought beauty, meaning, and reflection into my life–I hope a few of the poems gifted the same to you.

Special thanks again to one of my dearest friends and kindred spirits, Kristina Closs, who brought a whole other layer to the poems with her striking illustrations–and always helped me think about the poems in new ways. If you enjoyed her work, please visit her website, where you can purchase prints (including the ones inspired by this month’s poetry!)–or contact her for custom commissions, which she will gladly work on with you.

Let’s wrap up this month with one of my longtime favorite poets, Ada Limón and a poem from her upcoming collection, The Hurting Kind.

an illustration of a heart comprised of all the images of National Poetry Month from this blog's posting, with arms wrapped around it
Art by Kristina Closs

The End of Poetry

by Ada Limón

Enough of osseous and chickadee and sunflower
and snowshoes, maple and seeds, samara and shoot,
enough chiaroscuro, enough of thus and prophecy
and the stoic farmer and faith and our father and tis
of thee, enough of bosom and bud, skin and god
not forgetting and star bodies and frozen birds,
enough of the will to go on and not go on or how
a certain light does a certain thing, enough
of the kneeling and the rising and the looking
inward and the looking up, enough of the gun,
the drama, and the acquaintance’s suicide, the long-lost
letter on the dresser, enough of the longing and
the ego and the obliteration of ego, enough
of the mother and the child and the father and the child
and enough of the pointing to the world, weary
and desperate, enough of the brutal and the border,
enough of can you see me, can you hear me, enough
I am human, enough I am alone and I am desperate,
enough of the animal saving me, enough of the high
water, enough sorrow, enough of the air and its ease,
I am asking you to touch me.

forthcoming from The Hurting Kind

There’s a dream I have in which I love the world.

illustration of a heart with a hand over it. Coming out of the heart is an urban scene, buildings, train, bridge, tent encampments, roses falling out of the heart with tears dropping from them
Art by Kristina Closs

Meditations in an Emergency

by Cameron Awkward-Rich 

I wake up & it breaks my heart. I draw the blinds
& the thrill of rain breaks my heart. I go outside.
I ride the train, walk among the buildings, men in
Monday suits. The flight of doves, the city of tents
beneath the underpass, the huddled mass, old
women hawking roses, & children all of them,
break my heart. There’s a dream I have in which
I love the world. I run from end to end like fingers
through her hair. There are no borders, only wind.
Like you, I was born. Like you, I was raised in the
institution of dreaming. Hand on my heart. Hand
on my stupid heart.

from Dispatch

where even a fragment of a man could undo me

illustration of a navy blue block with herbs wrapped in paper flanking a pale yellow square with the silhouette of a man walking into the light
Art by Kristina Closs

History of Pleasure

by Richie Hofmann 

I walked by myself to the market
past ruins with broken
bodies of stone, where even
a fragment of a man could undo me. 
I bought herbs wrapped in paper.
Light shone through the glass of our apartment. 
You had been showering,
the smell of mint invaded the room, your hair was wet. 

from A Hundred Lovers