What we would be, hands on heart
and the promise of a slow and steady bleed.
so the decades may strike us down,
but never the doubt.
In a house by the sea maybe we leave
books in stacks, unread,
too busy clasping at every joint,
pushing and pulling as the waves do on soft shores.
I write soliloquies about your beauty,
even if contemporaries cannot see,
we’ve got space and flowers and hours
left to go before we sleep.
We would, for as long as the music lasts,
as long as the moon fishhooks and sky
and I keep my eyes open,
believing in the gentlest way to go,
with you, ineffably.
A.M. Kennedy, “As Far as Love Poems Go”
Under the water, press hands against the silver glass,
the world viewed from the other side.
Blue, cold, spine to sand instead of sky.
Remind us, what was it Alice felt
slipping inexorably down?
Fear or hope at the prospect
of the inevitable choke.
why we spent all that time trying to die.
Soft skinned, the love rubs and grinds and blisters,
kiss him, kiss her, kiss they/them,
what else are you going to do
with all this painful life?
Above the water, drink just enough sadness to be sweet,
to be the temperature of alive.
The world viewed from the air,
Alice following the rabbit down,
and the hare,
the hare back up.
A.M. Kennedy, “Alice in Wonder”
In the woods,
wicked bare fingers undress us.
You and I and the sky,
we spread the stars around,
send them in glossy cascades
through the trees.
Believe me when I say
I have never seen such a sight
as you in full dark,
as you in full light.
A.M. Kennedy, “Wanderlust”
We build above ground now,
touch the earth and lift.
What a beautiful house,
crown molding, wood floors,
but at the edges the
unforgotten blemishes are
The portrait wall is full of faces that aren’t yours,
why don’t you ever hang your own artwork?
Ink bursts on the tongue,
spit out the truth,
does it have to be beautiful to count?
All those women in front of your mother’s mirror
with their hair pulled tight to scalp,
the pain, the pretty.
What does it mean to get up out of the mud?
That we are dirty, that we are alive,
that we will wield this language
in whatever direction we want.
Fuck it, bring the earth inside,
fuck it, write your secrets in the margins,
fuck it, look yourself in the mirror every morning
and tell it, Ma,
I made it,
I made it.
A.M. Kennedy, “The Ugly Wallpaper & Every Other Useful Thing That Came Cheap”