This selection, chosen by guest editor JJ Rowan, is from about:blank by Tracy Fuad, released by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2022.
DEAR: I am writing the alphabet with my left foot at five in the morning I am peeling this moment and finding it skinned Now, peering behind the heap where I think a man is skinning a sheep A boy is sharpening knives on a bicycle I am rubbing the leaves with milk to make them shine The hard road is soft enough to become grooved where buses veer to bypass I am not a flower, I said to the bee Though I may turn my face to the light Tomato, persimmon, persimmon I will eat a nut before I sleep I have been on this video call for months!
Tracy Fuad is a 2023 NEA Fellow and the author of about:blank, winner of the 2020 Donald Hall Prize. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, POETRY Magazine, The Yale Review, and she is also the author of three chapbooks: PITH, DAD DAD DAD DAD DAD DAD DAD, and Body of Water 2. She lives with her family in Berlin, where she teaches poetry at the Berlin Writers’ Workshop.
JJ Rowan (they/them) is a queer nonbinary writer and dancer. Their poems, not-poems, and interactive performances have appeared in the tiny, Dream Pop Journal, 45th Parallel, and at the SMOL Fair and the Splinter Collective’s Interrupted by Trains, among others. Their most recent chapbook is a simple verb (Bloof Books). They are on the editorial team at just femme & dandy. You can sign up for their newsletter, actual motion, at their website.