AUDREY
GIDMAN

Audrey Gidman is a queer poet living in Maine. Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in The Night Heron Barks, Luna Luna, Birdcoat Quarterly, Volume Poetry, The Inflectionist Review, The West Review, The Shore and elsewhere. She serves as assistant poetry editor for Gigantic Sequins and an editor for Newfound's Emerging Poets Chapbook Series. Her chapbook, body psalms, winner of the Elyse Wolf Prize, is forthcoming from Slate Roof Press.

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SCOLIOSIS (OR, NOTES ON SUFFERING)

I’ve tried to write praise poems

for a spine that spits me out bent

each morning, tilted

a little more toward the sun, tight

hips, muscles buckling, every bone, pelvis

a bowl of hot

water, ache & unanswered prayers & the poems

never come out with flowers

in them or rain, never

birds or bells, love

or thank you, they always

seem to weep, they shrug, put grief

back on the shelf like an empty jar & dust

the same tired edges, never worth

the work of making beautiful but maybe

this poem

can be about

water & maybe this poem

can be

about love & maybe

this poem

can have flowers in it

too—

PSALM IN THE FIELD AT DUSK (OR, NOTES ON WALKING AWAY)

O God make me discerning

Make me disciplined

 

Make my breath stay in my lungs

when I ask it to

 

Make me strong in the knees

when he speaks

 

When he winks & wrings

his hands

 

God make me whole

unto myself

 

Make me braver

Make it impossible

 

to love a man

more than I love myself

 

Make him good

God please

 

make him good

somewhere else

THIS COULD HAVE BEEN AN AUBADE

if I had moved gently. If

sheets pressed into the cursive

l of your shoulder. If I had folded into

your crooked arm.

If I’d tiptoed to the kitchen

to find water, not slip

through the back door.

If I’d tried to call.

& when I saw you on the sidewalk

later & looked

you in the eye, if I hadn’t

kept walking. If I’d remembered

the kiss you left

at the crest of my cheek, not

the chickadee

outside your window

dying.

NOTES ON TREES

the leaves

are spackled

across fields

& cracked

sidewalks

& bird-

shit-speckled

hoods of cars

in church

parking lots,

bleeding split

crimson pinks

& marooned

yellows up

into the small

wrists of

themselves—

NOTES ON SHAME

shame on you for thinking you are not made of poems girl shame on you for thinking you are not made of poems girl shame on you for thinking you are not made of shame on you for thinking you are not made of girl you are thinking you are not you are not made of shame on you for thinking you are poems girl shame you are not made of poems girl shame you are not made of shame on you for thinking you are girl you are not made of girl you are not made of poems you are not made of shame on you for thinking you are not made of shame on you for thinking you are not made of shame on you for being made of sh—