Today’s nothing fancy: my mother lives,
a simple pleasure. My cat made biscuits
on my knee. A woman I desire
giggled with me, invited me to touch
a whale. I fell for a man I barely know,
his delicious disdain, his persistent smile,
flaking skin and mane.
He said “chartreuse.” I said, “lime, lime, lime.”
Everyone I love is enough today.
Me and you, we’re at a precipice.
The rain is falling down, each drop
turning, plummeting, down
like balloons and splaying.
Pow. Pow. Pow.
My beloved tells me that in 1 to 300 days
two black holes will collide.
The astronomers are aiming their scopes,
readying their tools for this first
glimpse of what, unseen,
may well have happened before,
somewhere in the infinitude
of space and time. Today is nothing short
of extraordinary. My mother lives.
I fall in love each separate way only once
in all this space and time.
Added: Tuesday, May 2, 2023 / Used with permission.
Maya Marshall is the author of the poetry collection All the Blood Involved in Love and the chapbook Secondhand. She is cofounder of underbelly, the journal on the practical magic of poetic revision. Marshall was the 2021–2023 Poetry Fellow at Emory University following her appointment as artist- in-residence at Northwestern University. She holds fellowships from MacDowell, Cave Canem, Vermont Studio Center, Callaloo, The Watering Hole, and Community of Writers. Her poetry, essays, reviews, and interviews have been published or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Crazyhorse, Best New Poets, Poets & Writers, The Southampton Review, and elsewhere. She is as an editor at large for Haymarket Books. Marshall is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Adelphi University.
Image Description: Maya Marshall, a dark-skinned black woman with freckles and long dark brown dreadlocks, smiles slightly. Behind her several volumes of poetry on a black bookshelf are visible.