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“Poetry puts starch in your backbone so you can stand, so you can compose your life.”  Maya Angelou


- Maya Angelou

Gold and black intricately designed honey bee
For Women Who Are 'Difficult' to Love by Warsan Shire
When we two parted by Lord Byron

Lord Byron

Invictus by William Ernest Henley
Colors by Shel Silverstein
Loss by Wendy Cope
Incurable by Dorothy Parker

- Dorothy Parker

Gold skeleton key
Go to Bed With a Cheese and Pickle Sandwich by Mandy Coe
Twin Mounds of Clay poem by Kwan Tao Shing

Mandy Coe

Resignation |

Nikki Giovanni


I love you
because the Earth turns around the sun
because the North wind blows north
because the Pope is Catholic
and most Rabbis Jewish
because winters flow into springs
and the air clears after a storm
because only my love for you
despite the charms or gravity
keeps me from falling off this Earth
into another dimension

I love you
because it is the natural order of things

I love you
like the habit I picked up in college
of sleeping through lectures
or saying I’m sorry
when I get stopped for speeding
because I drink a glass of water
in the morning
and chain-smoke cigarettes
all through the day
because I take my coffee Black
and my milk with chocolate
because you keep my feet warm
though my life a mess
I love you
because I don’t want it
any other way

I am helpless
in my love for you

It makes me so happy
to hear you call my name
I am amazed you can resist
locking me in an echo chamber
where your voice reverberates
through the four walls
sending me into spasmatic ecstasy
I love you
because it’s been so good
for so long
that if I didn’t love you
I’d have to be born again
and that is not a theological statement
I am pitiful in my love for you

The Dells tell me Love
is so simple
the thought though of you
sends indescribably delicious multitudinous
thrills throughout and through-in my body
I love you
because no two snow flakes are alike
and it is possible
if you stand tippy-toe
to walk between the raindrops
I love you
because I am afraid of the dark
and can’t sleep in the light
because I rub my eyes
when I wake up in the morning
and find you there
because you with all your magic powers were
determined that
I should love you
because there was nothing for you but that
I would love you

I love you
because you made me
want to love you
more than I love my privacy
my freedom my commitments
and responsibilities
I love you ‘cause I changed my life
to love you
because you saw me one Friday
afternoon and decided that I would
love you
I love you I love you I love you

Poem by Ono no Komachi
Unfortunate Coincidence by Dorothy Parker

Unfortunate Coincidence

So That You Will Hear by Pablo Neruda
Love Song by Rainer Maria Rilke
Listen to the Mustn'ts Shel Silverstein
Love's Draft by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I told Susan Reyna |

Sandra Cisneros


I told Susan Reyna

I don’t like her

because she’s fat and ugly

and she wears big brassieres

and smells like chocolate candy

and comes in late each morning

with her tongue puff puffing

and her wrinkled blouse

half in half out

and who probably stole

Walker Milky’s money

and never gives back pencils

just sleeps all day

while we do numbers

or all the time in a red pen

she got for her birthday

writes Susan Susan Susan

in fancy letters


The nun says

we must be kind

to everyone

or rot in fires

including Susan

who is sick

and has the fits

till she gets tired

then two boys

have to hold her legs

down and one girl her dress

and she gets to sleep all day

and wakes with crumpled hair

and spit



is who I told

I don’t like you

because you stink

of chocolate

and menstruation

and who is sick

already 48 hours

but I don’t care

Crooked Afro |

Frank X Walker


daddy don’t smile

when you ask ‘bout

uncle jay

my favorite

drunk or sober


unk got bookoo years

fo’ shootin’

a man

inna club


some say

he didn’t do it

that he took the rap

for his brotha

my father

who had three of us

in diapers


this man’s man

had already done time

in ‘nam

wasn’t back but a minute

when this other

tour of duty



but when he tripped home

one easter

to his father’s funeral

and stood at the coffin in cuffs

the music stopped


when we welcomed him back

he came to the party

without his dancing shoes

his record skipping

singing a song

that old lovers

and ex teammates

had already put up in the attic


now half of him

and a crooked afro

roam the streets

and alleys

borrowing just enough

for another bottle

to make love to


hoping to find somebody

who still listens

to Isaac hayes or

little stevie wonder

on eight tracks

and remembers when

he could just take over a game

if the bate bulldogs

were behind

and the cheerleaders

called his name


daddy don’t smile

when you ask ‘bout uncle jay

and some of us

still cry

when he tries to dance

A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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