Our poetry editor, Joe Pan, has selected three poems by Ada Gold for his series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.
* * *
Dad, I never told you about the time I accidentally saw you peeing
that was the day I realized men are nothing to worry about
because penises really don’t have eyes
I never told you that I went to synagogue and I never prayed
I never prayed
except for a mother
and not just the ones we made
that we fashioned out of paper clips and goodbye
Dad, I never told you about the men
or that when I danced
I was dancing for my greasy heaven
for floors so slick with our cries
I thought we would slip until we flew
I never told you
that every part of you that broke
I carried in my throat
you are every poem I spoke
death did not interrupt the speaking just the breathing
I never told you about the money I stole
the quarters I took that were supposed to be just enough for pizza
I made a dollar to buy a lottery ticket
I could not tell you that you really should clip your fingernails more often
that I hate the way you sing
Dad, your body breeds bread
keeps this underfed Brooklyn fed
I never told you
about the men I kissed
or about how often I have heard you
when you sat on the edge of your body and screamed and screamed for a new one
now your eyes have no moments
Daddy, I’ll buy better lampshades
I’ll get more windows
we need more light
in the dark things can burn, people can break
I never told you about the day god sat down next to me on the train
and didn’t introduce himself, tell me his name
but that god was holding a bed frame
and a bag of our dead
to salt the skyline with
The Poor Need Entertainment Too
we always entertained our death like it was a movie star coming to dinner
and we think we need to dress up for it
oh, the little things that we do to make the earth a little more red
and more flushed with dreams we put in soil
we cannot let the sky fall down, smack right in our corn and cobwebs,
like “hey, we were learning how to read here”
the past is heavy with fat
with bleeding the stars out of the flag
the deaths keep us company when nothing else would
so let them rich kids have their chicken sandwiches with lots of lettuce
their chamomile tea for getting to bed
I’m tonguing the light through my shoes
the darkness runs in our skim milk
in our choking sardines out a can
we dance with our demise
and dress it up down to our underpants
cause we want to get that prize
that forever gown with flowers
on the grave and a moonrise
You Are The First Man
whose father is still alive
so let’s do it
on the floor
we don’t even need
or sunshine coming down through the curtains
let’s do it
on top of a mountain
so close to the sky we can write notes
from God and
hide them in each other’s pockets
how about doing it in the bathroom closet
next to the cough syrup and bottles of laxatives
cause indigestion in each other
you are that man
to uproot my lungs make me leaky spine
I’m afraid you will inherit my frequent disapproval
of the earth
casual way of kissing and cursing out the stars
I will just fall
lopsided into your skin
as you undress my blood
a body is made more than just for mourning
* * *
Ana Gold is a poet from Brooklyn, New York. She has been published under the name Ada Gold and other pseudonyms in The Ohio Edit, Pilgrimage, Punchnel’s, and The Illanot Review. She has received grants to attend the Juniper Writing Institute and the Sarah Lawrence Summer Writing Seminars.
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