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Poem of the Month
 

Ross Gay is the author of two previous poetry collections, Against Which and Bringing the Shovel Down. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Orion, the Sun, and elsewhere. He is an associate professor of poetry at Indiana University and teaches in Drew University’s low-residency MFA program in poetry. He also serves on the board of the Bloomington Community Orchard.

January 2015

From Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude

by Ross Gay

 

patience

Call it sloth; call it sleaze;
call it bummery if you please;
I’ll call it patience;
I’ll call it joy, this,
my supine congress
with the newly yawning grass
and beetles chittering
in their offices
beneath me, as I
nearly drifting to dream
admire this so-called weed which,
if I guarded with teeth bared
my garden of all alien breeds,
if I was all knife and axe
and made a life of hacking
would not have burst gorgeous forth and beckoning
these sort of phallic spires
ringleted by these sort of vaginal blooms
which the new bees, being bees, heed;
and yes, it is spring, if you can’t tell
from the words my mind makes
of the world, and everything
makes me mildly or more
hungry—the worm turning
in the leaf mold; the pear blooms
howling forth their pungence
like a choir of wet-dreamed boys
hiking up their skirts; even
the neighbor cat’s shimmy
through the grin in the fence,
and the way this bee
before me after whispering
in my ear dips her head
into those dainty lips
not exactly like one entering a chapel
and friends
as if that wasn’t enough
blooms forth with her forehead dusted pink
like she has been licked
and so blessed
by the kind of God
to whom this poem is prayer.

 

 

Copyright © 2015 by Ross Gay. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2015 University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.