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Diana Marie Delgado
Diana Marie Delgado

Who Makes Love to Us After We Die

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, January 23, 2017.
About this Poem 

“This prose poem is part of a series of nonfiction poems that draw upon popular culture and my personal experiences to highlight issues of violence and subjugation toward women.”
—Diana Marie Delgado

Who Makes Love to Us After We Die

I turn on the radio and hear horses, girls becoming women after tragedy. Talk about dreams! His heart was covered in a thin shell the color of the moon, and when touched, I’d grow old. The best movies have a philosophy, Dorothy, after being subjected to witch-on-girl violence, is rescued. Someone hung himself on that set, a man, who loved, but couldn’t have a certain woman. Management said it was a bird. The best movies begin with an encounter and end with someone setting someone free. In Coppola’s version of Dracula my favorite scene is when the camera chases two women through a garden and watches them kiss. I made love to a man who asked, after many years, for me to choke him, so that later, cleaning a kitchen cabinet, I read a recipe he’d written into wood, and I had a hard time believing him.

Copyright © 2017 by Diana Marie Delgado. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 23, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Diana Marie Delgado. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 23, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

collection

Classic Books of American Poetry

This collection of books showcases the masterpieces of American poetry that have influenced—or promise to influence—generations of poets. Take a look.

collection

A Poet's Glossary

Read about poetic terms and forms from Edward Hirsch's A Poet's Glossary (Harcourt, 2014), a book ten years in the making that defines the art form of poetry.  

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Walt Whitman manuscript
poem

The Leash

After the birthing of bombs of forks and fear,
the frantic automatic weapons unleashed,
the spray of bullets into a crowd holding hands,
that brute sky opening in a slate metal maw
that swallows only the unsayable in each of us, what's
left? Even the hidden nowhere river is poisoned
orange and acidic by a coal mine. How can
you not fear humanity, want to lick the creek
bottom dry to suck the deadly water up into
your own lungs, like venom? Reader, I want to
say, Don't die. Even when silvery fish after fish
comes back belly up, and the country plummets
into a crepitating crater of hatred, isn't there still
something singing? The truth is: I don't know.
But sometimes, I swear I hear it, the wound closing
like a rusted-over garage door, and I can still move
my living limbs into the world without too much
pain, can still marvel at how the dog runs straight
toward the pickup trucks break-necking down
the road, because she thinks she loves them,
because she’s sure, without a doubt, that the loud
roaring things will love her back, her soft small self
alive with desire to share her goddamn enthusiasm,
until I yank the leash back to save her because
I want her to survive forever. Don't die, I say,
and we decide to walk for a bit longer, starlings
high and fevered above us, winter coming to lay
her cold corpse down upon this little plot of earth.
Perhaps, we are always hurtling our body towards
the thing that will obliterate us, begging for love
from the speeding passage of time, and so maybe
like the dog obedient at my heels, we can walk together
peacefully, at least until the next truck comes.

Ada Limón
2016
poem

Burning the Old Year

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.   
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,   
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,   
lists of vegetables, partial poems.   
Orange swirling flame of days,   
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,   
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.   
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,   
only the things I didn’t do   
crackle after the blazing dies.
Naomi Shihab Nye
1995