“Longing, we say, because desire is full of endless distances.”
— Robert Hass in an excerpt from “Meditation at Lagunitas”

The First Girl

When I say that she was the greatest,
I mean that she resembled a circus.

She was not brightly colored,
nor was she composed

of three rings, but
under a tent in the middle of

a starlit field
on a summer night,

you could see her
in just a t-shirt

and forget how unhappy
the elephants were.

Rob MacDonald

“I’ve tried to get you out of my head but I can’t seem to get you out of my flesh. I think about your body day and night. When I try to read it’s you I’m reading. When I sit down to eat it’s you I’m eating.”
— Jeanette Winterson in “Written on the Body

Screw poetry, it’s you I want,
your taste, rain
on you, mouth on your skin.

Margaret Atwood in “Late Night”


It’s about the blood
banging in the body
and the brain
lolling in its bed
like a happy baby.
At your touch, the nerve
that volatile spook tree
vibrates. The lungs
take up their work
with a giddy vigor.
Tremors in the joints
and tympani,
dust storms
in the canister of sugar.
The coil of ribs,
heats up, begins
to glow. Come

Catherine Doty

“I want a trouble-maker for a lover,
Blood spiller, blood drinker, a heart of flame,
Who quarrels with the sky and fights with fate,
Who burns like fire on the rushing sea.”
— Rumi

the frightening truth about desire

it’s on but
i don’t know
whether i want
to be
her, fuck her
or borrow
her clothes.

Daphne Gottlieb (via)

“I was satisfied with haiku until I met you,
jar of octopus, cuckoo’s cry, 5-7-5,
but now I want a Russian novel,
a 50-page description of you sleeping,
another 75 of what you think staring out
a window.”
— Dean Young, excerpt from “Changing Genres”
“They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
“…and blue you there still
accepts me foolish and free
all I want is a room up there
and you in it
and even the traffic halt so thick is a way
for people to rub up against each other…”
— Frank O’Hara in “Steps