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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information, contact poem-a-day@poets.org.

Contract between Forward and Reply

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, February 24, 2017.
About this Poem 

“This is a section from a text I wrote for The Multinational Book of Contracts, an anthology I’m coediting with the Dutch writer Maarten van der Graaff. My own interest in contracts arises from my recent readings in revolutionary feminist texts and wanting to interrogate how intimacy and desire are bureaucratized.”
—Mia You

Contract between Forward and Reply

would you be a lender
if it coincided with war

could you be sure your tenderness
came from more than envy

should you have amended
those rules that bound you

                careful!

would you have descended
from behind that leaden war

could you foresee

how slender my heart
should you then doubt

my fear of deep intention
would you be more

than the commended old wrong
would you be still

my song of snow in sight

would you be

                the provision in the sky

would you know more

                than a law a weight
                a mended wall that wood

                            that night?

Copyright © 2017 by Mia You. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 24, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Mia You. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 24, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

previous poems

datesort ascending title author
February 03, 2017 Mushrooming Jeffrey Harrison
February 02, 2017 Anthropocene Blues Anne Waldman
January 31, 2017 C.R.E.A.M. Danez Smith
January 31, 2017 Spaces Jenny Johnson
January 30, 2017 Beginners Michael Klein
January 29, 2017 Love Rupert Brooke
January 28, 2017 Alas Walter de la Mare
January 27, 2017 Heavy Hieu Minh Nguyen
January 26, 2017 Elegy for a Year Joseph Fasano
January 25, 2017 Children of Aleppo Chard deNiord

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