I am a girl I cannot get to on my own. Inspired by the fact
you look: there is something to read. Life is why we breathe:
what is miraculous about the beloved is she was born and lived to survive,
I believe. I know I worked hard— the size of your hand
wretched and solid my back its need. I have been calling
since I learned to speak: to the space I could
wildflowers exploded on the road. With you this bottomlessness
not for falling. When I say the word I mean even if you don’t.
It is no currency. Let you find what you need
tested in my voice and a chinrest my shoulder
while I tear the salad for dinner I am speaking.
I don’t want the words to do anything but uncover me.
Rae Gouirand’s first collection of poetry, Open Winter, was selected by Elaine Equi for the 2011 Bellday Prize, won a 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award for Poetry and the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the Montaigne Medal, the Audre Lorde Award for Poetry, and the California Book Award for Poetry. Her new work has appeared most recently in American Poetry Review, VOLT, The Brooklyner, The Rumpus, The California Journal of Poetics, New South, Hobart, ZYZZYVA, Barrow Street, [PANK] online, and in a Distinguished Poet feature for The Inflectionist Review. Current guest editor for OCHO: A Journal of Queer Arts, she is currently at work on an opera and a collection of linked essays.