A little under a year ago, I put together a list containing quotes from some of my favorite poets, and decided it was about time for round two. If you’re looking for some creative inspiration, a dose of feelings, or just love poetry, you’ve come to the right place. Come, sit, stay a while. Cry if you’d like. All is welcome here.
“Come with all your shame, come with your swollen heart, I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than you.”
— Warsan Shire
“Ask me about the summer
I fell in love with someone
more blackberry bramble than girl.
Aching to be touched
but never talking about the thorns.
And me, all heavy handed
and too proud to acknowledge
the things I’d cut myself on.
I dreamt about juice
running down my chin
“you might not have been my first love
but you were the love that made
all other loves seem
— Rupi Kaur
“They say our bodies regenerate completely
After seven long years,
That all our skin cells
Are shed and replaced
And I hope that isn’t true because if so
Then I have six years more to go
Before I finally have a body
That no longer thinks of yours as home.”
“What I love most about rain
in California is that she never
has to apologize for her downpour.”
“if i keep writing poems about you
and no one ever knows that you read them,
are they still self-indulgent?
i mean, a tree falling in a forest, right?
how do i tell the nonbelievers that love
only ever made sense in poetry, or
that our unraveling was one
of the most romantic things
that’s ever happened to me?
when am i supposed to stop talking about it?
how many ripples in the lake do i create
if i skip stone after stone after stone
and all of them sound like your name?”
“a child learns to walk for the first time
and stumbles stumbles falls.
we have something in common here
but she has an excuse for it.
I try to remember when to water the plants
and if it’s time again to wash the sheets.
people have stopped asking questions.
people have started turning their eyes.
it’s too obvious, this hurt, it’s too grand
and violent and no one has their sunglasses.
my god, we loved each other, didn’t we?
my god, we made a mess of it.
I can see it even now
in the pile of dishes in the sink.”
“I was taught that a woman’s vagina is just an underground railroad to masculinity. That real men have tunnel vision and treat girls like subway cars. Like nothing more than a space to parallel park our genitals. A hole to bury seeds and leave orchids in our rear view mirrors.
They say you gotta peel a woman like a tangerine. And your job as a man is to chameleon your self into her trees. Bite a piece of her fruit and leave the rest hanging crooked and confused.
This is an apology to every woman I changed colors just to get inside of.”
“Lover, I smashed my glass slipper to build a stained glass window for every wall inside my chest
Now my heart is a pressed flower and a tattered Bible
It is the one verse you can trust
So I’m putting all of my words in your collection plate
I am setting the table with bread and grace
My knees are bent
like the corner of a page
I am saving your place.”
“Ruin your clothes, she will.
Get you home way after hours.
Drive her ’59 seventy-five on 35
like there is no tomorrow.
Woman zydeco-ing into her own decade.
Thirty years pleated behind her like
the wail of a San Antonio accordion.
And now the good times are coming. Girl,
I tell you, the good times are here.”
“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
“sometimes getting out of bed feels more like a climbing
and some mornings waking up can be a triathlon of effort
I have completed many
sometimes I am all muscle
sometimes I am all skin
sometimes I am the long lost cousin of regret
sometimes I am the farthest thing from human”
“You came over in the late afternoon and did things like
pull my body into yours
by using your teeth as a lasso around my lower lip.
By night my pillows still smelled like you. How did you make soap smell so good?
All night I was rolling over and smelling you.
All night I was rolling over and thinking about how you make me forget
which way all my limbs are supposed to go.
You send me a picture on Snapchat when you can’t sleep
and I think I am supposed to think something about the way you look
but all I can see is that mouth.
And all I can think is how
I want to bury my face in the painful velcro of your neck
and rub myself raw.”
“fill him. fill him with beans, kernels, seeds: something
organic, something hard, like he was. stitch him tight up
the back. let your fingertip worry the seam like you used
to stroke his spine.
i wouldn’t suggest kissing him–he’s cool to the touch, all
lumps and cotton when your lips only remember silk–
but there’s no harm in it. not anymore.”
“How reckless, the way that I love
like the first chapter of a ghost story.
Like the gentlest hand
reaching out of a grave.”
“The way you slam your body into mine reminds me I’m alive, but monsters are always hungry, darling.”
“In the old neighborhood, each funeral parlor
is more elaborate than the last.
The alleys smell of cops, pistols bumping their thighs,
each chamber steeled with a slim blue bullet.
Low-rent balconies stacked to the sky.
A boy plays tic-tac-toe on a moon
crossed by TV antennae, dreams
he has swallowed a blue bean.
It takes root in his gut, sprouts
and twines upward, the vines curling
around the sockets and locking them shut.”