Sarah Kay – Brother

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Brother, you jaywalked your way out of the womb. I could recognise you anywhere from the hiccup in your swagger. Tell me, where in the world did you find all that thunder? There have never been any seat-belts on your side of the car. You have always known the better magic tricks. You told me once that I was just the first draft, and I’m inclined to believe you but you came with a lot more pieces to assemble than … Read More

Sarah Kay – Peacocks

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Lately… lately I’ve been living with spiders, but as roommates go they haven’t been too bad. The one in the bathroom keeps to his side of the tile, and the one in the bedroom… well he can get a little bit grabby but for the most part he keeps his hands to himself. I guess all those car engines and hairsprays finally caught up with us, because the pollution here is so bad it makes the sky glow orange from … Read More

Sarah Kay – Jakarta January

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After Hanif Abdurraqib & Frank O’Hara It is the last class of the day and I am teaching a classroom of sixth graders about poetry and across town a man has walked into a Starbucks and blown himself up while some other men throw grenades in the street and shoot into the crowd of civilians and I am 27 years old which means I am the only person in this room who was alive when this happened in New York … Read More

Sarah Kay – Providence

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  Look at this, look at all this snow. Does anyone in town know how to use a shovel? Well I guess the answer is no. Shit I fumbled my gloves, oh no I dropped my keys. Now they’re probably buried at the bottom of the snow bank and I bet that they’re gonna freeze. Cos Providence is miserable in winter. Providence won’t let me go on walks. Providence might ruin my semester, I might have to change my locks. … Read More

Sarah Kay – Montauk

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I am a city girl to my core. The first time my parents took me outside of New York City to visit my uncle in New Jersey, I was standing on the front porch of their lovely suburban home when a fast-moving shadow caused my three-year-old heart to damn near beat out of my chest, and I shouted, That’s the biggest rat I’ve ever seen. My uncle calmly responded, That’s a cat, sweetie. And I shot back, Oh yeah? Well what’s it doing outside? My … Read More

Jeanann Verlee – 40 Love Letters

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Dear Dennis, I still think of you. Dear Andre, I saw you kiss her. I haven’t looked back. Dear Patrick, You’re just too young. Dear Eric, I said horrible things about you. Your teeth are fine, it’s the rest of you I don’t like. Dear Greg, Thank you for the poem for every single scar. Dear William, I loved you simple. I liked that we would never be “we.” Dear Jay, The bruises fell off eventually. Dear Michael, I’ll never … Read More

Sarah Kay – The Ghost Ship

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In the second grade, every song was a handful of orange Tic Tacs rolling around my tongue: I knew all the words, could feel them tangy, round, and smooth, but didn’t care which one was which. I could sing back the Beatles perfectly with the words all smashed together. I was the first one to memorize any song the music teacher sang us. My favorite was The Ghost Ship. The words meant nothing to me, but the melody was full … Read More

Sarah Kay – Useless Bay

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Once in Puerto Rico, I held on to a rock ledge for fourty five minutes, refusing to jump into the lagoon below. My friends shouted encouragement and strangers offered kind advice, until finally the man I loved crawled up the rock face and stood behind me coaxing, “This is not a metaphor!” He said this because he knew that I had already found a way to equate this failure with all other failures, knew that my mind prison is a … Read More

Sarah Kay – Dreaming Boy

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In most of the dreams I remember from childhood, I am a boy. Rescuing a maiden from a tower, or not rescuing anyone in particular, but definitely a boy. For years, when the only language I had were the scraps tossed from the popular kids table, “lesbian” seemed as likely an explanation as anything. What does it mean to dream myself a gender? What does it mean to hold that secret beneath my tongue? The first time I kissed a … Read More

Sarah Kay – What we Build

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When I am inside writing, all I can think about is how I should be outside living. When I am outside living, all I can do is notice all there is to write about. When I read about love, I think I should be out loving. When I love, I think I need to read more. I am stumbling in pursuit of grace, I hunt patience with a vengeance. On the mornings when my brother’s tired muscles held to the … Read More

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