Ada Limón

HOW TO GIVE UP

Someday, unbeknownst to the sorry
lot of the dark virile ghosts in your corner,
the blue moon will actually come.

Bruised by the stone glare of the limelight,
it’ll come to stand in your tenuous doorway,
ready to admit it’s been late in coming.

Leave the indolent lotus-eaters right
then and there, their gorgeous blond faces,
and go to work, your shoulder to the hard sky.

Stop blaming the heat, the weather is
not a response to your desire, or non-desire,
you are part weather, part flower-leaf waving.

Lieutenant of the present room, practice
more of those human blunders, less fast lies,
leave your fumbling empty to the glossies.

You can be taken down as easily as taken up,
leave your arms loose in the hour, your body
buoyed by your own coalition with the air.

 

 

 

 

HARDWORKING AGREEMENT WITH A WEDNESDAY

I have an agreement with the day.
I won’t talk too much.

I won’t be the most complicated minute in its
configuration of hours.

Come to the office with me. Stay awhile.

The woman in the elevator who’s in sales is so nice,
but she says my name over, and over, and over.

(Even when I don’t say hers.)

She says, Good morning, Ada.
How was your evening, Ada?
Have a good day, Ada.

So my name becomes an advertisement, or a product
to be bought and sold. I want to take it back from her mouth.

I cannot stop looking at the bird out the window.

We’ve named him Stanley. He’s half-angry,
half-slow, half-bird. One-and-a-half figurine.

I want him to live somewhere else, but it’s not my decision.

He likes the rooftop of the high rise,
the hot soft tar grasped in his claws. He likes the danger.
He likes the dirt on his beak. He likes it rough.

I want his flight to be my own,
as if wings themselves could be willed.

Let’s fly south to Monterey, to water, to ether, to air.

Everything is off-limits.
Everything is unreal.
Everything is lament and let go.

Dear today,
I have said too much, yet give me this—
I want to be a physical doll, just for now,
a stupid, splendid thing,
tumbled into the touchable day.

 

 

 

- - - - - -

Ada Limón is the author of two award-winning books of poetry, Lucky Wreck and This Big Fake World. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Diode, Iowa Review, and others. Her third book, Sharks in the Rivers is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions.

 

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