Even for me, life had its gleams of sunshine.
In the Country of Resurrection, Ada Limón | Morning Coffee, Mary Bradish Titcomb | Morning Sun, Edward Hopper | Daily Bread, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, Ocean Vuong ( @beautymyeyes-see ) | Sun in an Empty Room, Edward Hopper | After the Storm, Olena Babak | Afternoon on a Hill, Edna St. Vincent Millay ( @fairyette ) | Green and Gold, Henry Scott Tuke | The Black Brook, John Singer Sargent | Snake, Mary Oliver ( @tenderfaery )
A Good Story
Some days—dishes piled in the sink, books littering the coffee table—
are harder than others. Today, my head is packed with cockroaches,
dizziness and everywhere it hurts. Venom in the jaw, behind the eyes,
between the blades. Still, the dog is snoring on my right, the cat, on my left.
Outside, all those redbuds are just getting good. I tell a friend, The body
is so body. And she nods. I used to like the darkest stories, the bleak
snippets someone would toss out about just how bad it could get.
My stepfather told me a story about when he lived on the streets as a kid,
how he’d, some nights, sleep under the grill at a fast food restaurant until
both he and his buddy got fired. I used to like that story for some reason,
something in me that believed in overcoming. But right now all I want
is a story about human kindness, the way once when I couldn’t stop
crying because I was fifteen and heartbroken, he came in and made
me eat a small pizza he’d cut up into tiny bits until the tears stopped.
Maybe I was just hungry, I said. And he nodded, holding out the last piece.
ada limón, the conditional
So then actually the process of praising and the process of noticing and the process of attention to the good things and the process of loving and the process of noticing the music of the world – I think that is as important and as necessary as witnessing and naming and holding the grief and sorrow that comes with being alive.
“Ada Limón on Resilience, Writing to Keep Going, and ‘Lucky Wreck’”, interview with Justin Evans, in South Review of Books, April 2, 2021
Ada Limón, The Carrying
ada limón, from during the impossible age of everyone
[text id] there are so many people who’ve come before us, arrows and wagon wheels, obsidian tools, buffalo. look out at the meadow, you can almost see them, generations dissolved in the bluegrass and hay. I want to try and be terrific. even for an hour.
O God, that I were a man!
Dead Poets’ Society, dir. Peter Weir // Moonlight, dir. Barry Jenkins // x // Stand By Me, dir. Rob Reiner // The Third Rainbow Girl, Emma Copley Eisenberg // “Accident Report in the Tall, Tall Weeds”, Ada Limón // The Dream Thieves, Maggie Stiefvater// 1917, dir. Sam Mendes // Kill Your Darlings, dir. John Krokidas // Writers & Lovers, Lily King // Across the Universe, dir. Julie Taymor
Richard Siken / Anne Sexton
If I had known, back then, you were coming,
when I first thought love could be the thing
to save me after all, if I had known, would I
have still glued myself to the back of his
motorcycle while we flew across the starless
bridge over the East River to where I grew
my first garden behind the wire fencing,
in the concrete raised beds lined by ruby
twilight roses? If I had known it would be you,
who even then I liked to look at, across a room,
always listening rigorously, a self-questioning look,
the way your mouth was always your mouth,
would I have climbed back on that bike again
and again until even I was sick with fumes
and the sticky seat too hot in the early fall?
If I had known, would I have still made mistake
after mistake until I had only the trunk of me
left, stripped and nearly bare of leaves myself?
If I had know, the truth is, I would have kneeled
and said, Sooner, come to me sooner.
Ada Limón, from The Hurting Kind (2022)
Ada Limón in “The Poetry of Perseverance: An Interview With Ada Limón”
The Quiet Machine, Ada Limón
Accident Report in the Tall, Tall Weeds - Ada Limón
Ada Limón, the End of Poetry