Age 12 1990 golden Chevy 1/2 ton Age 16 1986 grey Saab totaled Age 17 1959 black Chrysler Windsor Golden-Lion 1972 yellow Volkswagen Beetle 1969 tan convertible Volkswagen Beetle busted fuel pump; never ran Age 18 1995 black Ford Mustang Age 19 1995 black Camry  Age 20 2002 silver Saturn Age 26 2002 tan Honda…

My first man left me

(a grammar lesson on the relationship between “love-able” and “leave-able”) on a curb, weekend-bag packed asleep, in a car, outside an unemployment office in a ditch, beside the road, dust rising up behind the car like some dirty comment bubble at the graveyard, next to a cold reservoir and an open grave

What it’s like to be parented by a poet

II. The child asks for a toy gun. The poet says, “no.” The white child asks why. The poet answers, “You cannot have a toy gun because a black child cannot play with a toy gun without getting shot at by the police.”

What it’s like to be parented by a poet

I. The child asks, “Is this the end, the end of everything?” The poet answers, “If it is, then I am so grateful to have known you.” And the child, knowing, answers, “You’re not supposed to say that. Don’t say that.”

I will ask you to call me Professor/Dr.–Why?

Because a young girl told me I couldn’t be one–because boys were doctors and girls were nurses. Because students will still call me “Mrs.” Because I still call myself “teacher.” Because I write poems–books of them!–but I am afraid to introduce myself, a poet. Because I am still expecting to be told I am not…

The Land of Cockaigne

Emily Bobo reads “The Tale about the Land of Cockaigne.” The original version of this tale is a brag where each line is a bigger lie about how great the Land of Cockaigne was. Audio.

20 true words: lesson

the crisp crunch underboot of Kansas-dry Kentucky bluegrass– the earth contracting, cracks– this is how one lets loose her roots

20 true words: MIL

for her, hands are a marker of age and class– calloused bitten bloody worn and capable– she gifts me lotion. Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz … Alfred Stieglitz | Georgia O’Keeffe–Hands | The Metropolitan Museum of Art