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About this poet

Rae Gouirand is the author of two books of poetry: Glass is Glass Water is Water (Spork Press, 2018) and Open Winter (Bellday Books, 2011), winner of the Bellday Prize. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and is a lecturer in the Department of English at the University of California-Davis. 

California No

You say intimacy breathes.
I drop in.

I know the sexiest
sentence there is—the most

erotic. I know it
like I know the last moment

wants to draw us
closest.

If we could say it doesn’t go
plainly as that

knowing the most intimate
line there is

or I know
simultaneously

on so many occasions those
yes yes yeses almost

what they yesed—

 

Copyright © 2018 by Rae Gouirand. Used with the permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Quarterly West Issue 94.

Copyright © 2018 by Rae Gouirand. Used with the permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Quarterly West Issue 94.

Rae Gouirand

Rae Gouirand

Rae Gouirand is the author of two books of poetry: Glass is Glass Water is Water (Spork Press, 2018) and Open Winter (Bellday Books, 2011), winner of the Bellday Prize. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and is a lecturer in the Department of English at the University of California-Davis. 

by this poet

poem

         after Obergefell v. Hodges, summer 2015

I still have a question to ask—
what I don’t know is which words might compose it.

I know it lives, but where it might begin—
I have to squint like I do as it downpours

in the mountains; I cannot read the road.
Driving after

poem

What if: stone is what
you get. A gun of stone. What if

the table beneath it were:
& the walls catching the sound. What

if no one knew: you were
around. If people came: from stone

& found only that.
What if stones were: deaf & mute

& cold. What could be

poem

Just as I move to sound the word
I start again, fall between the place

my mouth begins and the place
it makes something: the sudden here

synonymous with place and loss,
the dark world holding my body

differently. Every night I wake
at the point I try to speak