“Bad News” by Amy King

You don’t have to love life
to get some.
Has desire been embarrassing?
That’s you deep down looking like an abyss,
failing to fill up. The problem with an abyss
is that it’s the wrong tree and bottomless.
Basic death is boring.
Even the end doesn’t complete us.
You know what’s hot though?
Surprise sexts sent by a lover
at the bottom of bedtime from another time zone.
How many never arrived.
What else?
NYC to Houston, 1058 miles
in under four days just to unwrap gifts
together the day of.
Call me maestro.
Running your lover to get mudbugs
despite your vegetarian habits.
Winterizing her house because she’s southern
and you are too but you know better after years
of northern skies by blue moons.
Call me devoted.
She doesn’t know what the snow does
to her pipes. But you do.
Align the stars to find
her slapdown sexy in what’s been missing.
The way the sheets turn down tonight, your own.

Amy King was born in 1971, grew up in Georgia, and studied women’s studies and poetry at University of Maryland Towson, SUNY Buffalo, and Brooklyn College (M.F.A.). She is a prolific writer, activist, organizer, editor, moderator, curator, and essayist. She is a professor at SUNY Nassau Community College, author of five poetry collections and four chapbooks, and the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Women’s National Book Association Award. Her most recent book, The Missing Museum, won the Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. I Want to Make You Safe was named one of Boston Globe’s Best Poetry Books of 2011, and John Ashbery wrote that her poems “seem to encompass all that we think of as the ‘natural’ world, i.e., sex, sun, love, rotting, hatching, dreaming. She brings these abstractions to brilliant, jagged life, emerging into rather than out of the busyness of living.”

Image: “Samuel Adams” by Courtney Bernardo

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