Ada Limón - How to Triumph Like A Girl

I like the lady horses best, how they make it all look easy, like running 40 miles per hour is as fun as taking a nap, or grass. I like their lady horse swagger, after winning. Ears up, girls, ears up! But mainly, let's be honest, I like that they're ladies. As if this big dangerous animal is also a part of me, that somewhere inside the delicate skin of my body, there pumps an 8-pound female horse heart, giant with power, heavy with blood. Don't you want to believe it? Don't you want to lift my shirt and see the huge beating genius machine that thinks, no, it knows, it's going to come in first.

Kim Addonizio - To the Woman Crying Uncontrollably in the Next Stall

If you ever woke in your dress at 4am ever closed your legs to a man you loved opened them for one you didn’t moved against a pillow in the dark stood miserably on a beach seaweed clinging to your ankles paid good money for a bad haircut backed away from a mirror that wanted to kill you bled into the back seat for lack of a tampon if you swam across a river under rain sang using a dildo for a microphone stayed up to watch the moon eat the sun entire ripped out the stitches in your heart because why not if you think nothing & no one can / listen I love you joy is coming

Evie Shockley - apples and oranges: an allegory

i was always an apple person, myself. the variety! golden delicious, the dark, deep red delicious, granny white, russet. sweetsweetsweetsweet sweet sweet sweet! bite in and let the juices commence to dribbling! oranges? if you’ve seen one orange, you’ve seen em all, i always said. some of them have thicker skins than others, but thick or thin, that white-orange rind has got to go before you get to anything you can use. i’d peeled a couple oranges in my day, just for the acid change of pace. suck – pucker – not yucky, but too tart for me! so i’m on the lookout for a good apple, okay, a really good one, a you-ain’t-had-no-apple-like-this apple. and find myself with an orange. now, it’s not what you’re thinking. i had not searched high and low for a good apple. i had not been around the world trying to find a good apple. i had not given up all hope of ever putting my hands on a good apple. some of my friends had damn good apples, and i knew where they got em and i knew there were more where those came from. i was figuring i’d stumble upon a good apple any minute. so when i pick up this orange i’m not just dying for any ole fruit. but it’s there, round and bright, and when i squeeze it, i can feel the juices just beneath the surface. i figure i’ll peel it – what the hell! maybe it’ll be sweet, one of those rare honey-sunshine oranges, and i’ll be glad i took the time. it is a damn good orange. the kind of orange you have to take slow, section by section. i’m still working on that orange. now, it’s not what you’re thinking. i’m still an apple person, myself. an apple person who knows that all oranges are not alike. there’s some like apples.

Mahmoud Darwish - The Second Olive Tree (originally in Arabic, translated by Marilyn Hacker)

The olive tree does not weep and does not laugh. The olive tree Is the hillside’s modest lady. Shadow Covers her one leg, and she will not take her leaves off in front of the storm. Standing, she is seated, and seated, standing. She lives as a friendly sister of eternity, neighbor of time That helps her stock her luminous oil and Forget the invaders’ names, except the Romans, who Coexisted with her, and borrowed some of her branches To weave wreaths. They did not treat her as a prisoner of war But as a venerable grandmother, before whose calm dignity Swords shatter. In her reticent silver-green Color hesitates to say what it thinks, and to look at what is behind The portrait, for the olive tree, is neither green nor silver. The olive tree is the color of peace, if peace needed A color. No one says to the olive tree: How beautiful you are! But: How noble and how splendid! And she, She who teaches soldiers to lay down their rifles And re-educates them in tenderness and humility: Go home And light your lamps with my oil! But These soldiers, these modern soldiers Besiege her with bulldozers and uproot her from her lineage Of earth. They vanquished our grandmother who foundered, Her branches on the ground, her roots in the sky. She did not weep or cry out.  But one of her grandsons Who witnessed the execution threw a stone At a soldier, and he was martyred with her. After the victorious soldiers Had gone on their way, we buried him there, in that deep Pit – the grandmother’s cradle. And that is why we were Sure that he would become, in a little while, an olive Tree – a thorny olive tree – and green!