Poems in January

The first of my poems in January

Last month I didn’t share a collection of poems (instead, read November’s ones) as December is always busy and filled with the holidays, so I wanted to bring one of my favorite posts back for the new year! This month’s selection of poems in January is similar to that of November as they’re mostly focused on love. I found these poems in January on both Twitter and in my daily emails from poets.org! From my interpretation of the readings, the types of love that these pieces describe are platonic, romantic, and an unnamed version that can bridge the gap between the two. Each love has its highs and lows, but what’s most important is how both people feel and if their connection feels essential. The first of my poems in January is Leila Chatti’s “After Touching You, I Think of Narcissus Drowning,” which references the character from Greek mythology whose own desire led to his downfall. Chatti mentions this desire and the myth itself when she connects her romantic relationship with a person to the story. Just as Narcissus allowed his overwhelming longing for his reflection to cause his demise, Chatti is obsessed with her lover to the point of unrelenting devotion and madness. The lover is no longer a person separate from herself but rather a reflection of her, one she cannot live without. I love how Chatti illustrates what it feels like to be wholly devoted to another person in an unrelenting way. “The Conditional” by Ada Limón is actually about unconditional love Limón wants from someone else (probably her partner). I love this poem because in it, Limón describes apocalyptic scenes where the world ends and she is spending the last moments with her lover. The contrast between the conditional moments she describes and the unconditional love and devotion she wants is palpable. Although it’s scary to think about what our final living seconds might look like, Limón already knows that she wants to feel joy and lucky with the person she loves. The last lines are my favorites: “Say, It doesn’t matter. Say, That would be / enough. Say you’d still want this: us, alive / right here, feeling lucky.” Tara Skurtu’s “Morning Love Poem” could also be titled “Mourning Love Poem” as Skurtu illustrates what most people with an anxious attachment style would fear most in relationships. The poem is brief and simple but it perfectly encapsulates the horror of unexpectedly losing a lover. In the piece, Skurtu’s character accidentally causes her lover’s death and in reaction, the world around her ends. I’ve felt this way in previous relationship where I imagined the worst scenario possible of no longer having the person I loved with me, and I wouldn’t be able to bear the thought. Skurtu’s line “It’s hard to say I need you enough” is one of the most beautiful parts of the piece and is what hooked me upon first reading. “Tomorrow is a Place” by Sanna Wani is about a lost and rediscovered friendship, but it could also be about a relationship or something in between. Wani’s narrative about friends re-meeting for the first time is a beautiful way to summarize the fear and slight excitement of figuring out who one is in relationship to a person they once knew. I liked how Wani made time a character in itself as it watches these two people reinvigorate their friendship and find new meaning in each other.