Two poetry posts in a row? I’ve obviously been reading and absorbing as many poems as possible recently, because my life has been consumed with essays and written pieces over the past month. I find that when I am the most stressed and my life is hectic as hell, I tend to retreat in my room and procrastinate by watching spoken word recitations and reading new and unfamiliar pieces. Poetry gives me an outlet to read about other people’s experiences in similar situations I’ve gone through, which reminds me I’m not alone in this godforsaken world. I don’t usually choose a theme of monthly poems, but I somehow end up gravitating toward a specific style or topic (like my own curated month from poets.org!) and my selection of poems in April follows the same pattern. These pieces focus on the idea of longing and remembering people who have faced tragedies and trauma. Some of the pieces in my poems in April come from poets.org in their daily poem-a-day email, but the others were collected from my favorite chapbooks by Clint Smith (obviously), Jericho Brown, and Sabrina Benaim. I’ve noticed that most of my favorite pieces are devastating and painful and reminiscent of historical traumas, but I think it’s helpful to know which types of poems resonate with me best. I’m constantly inspired by the poetry that my favorite poets release, as most of the time, their pieces influence my own. I also don’t think it’s necessarily negative that I identify my poems with these similar topics. The poems in April touch on injustice, racial violence, bigotry, lost love, and the incarcerated forgotten ones. These pieces have brought me to tears and pushed me to create my own work that’s both vulnerable and hints at universal themes. I hope some of them touch you as well.