we found it in the attic one rainy afternoon we’d never seen anything like it

i was trying to climb up and she
was coming down and so we were stuck
we felt very lonely and wondered
if we could tip
the ladder sideways without falling

::        :: 

when’s the last time you saw god i said
she said at least three months ago if not more
when’s the last time you slept deeply and dreamt i asked
– this morning my face had grown wings

          it said we are all thoughts about to be thought – 

::        ::

we thought about our bed
our cycle of falling asleep and waking
next to each other’s bodies we were sure
we had found the right
body to sleep and wake next to
sometimes we were the only ones
in a crowded room 

::        ::  

it looks like winter i thought
looks like the stars’ nightmares she said
sometimes i am afraid for your body i said
– i can teach you to read the skin of buildings

           it said: what matters is – 

::        :: 

sometimes we were with those
who understood the problem
of the ladder and the color
of the stars’ nightmares and who
laughed very loudly and lovely
we were most honest when we held
hands like that and left
our kisses directly on each other’s skin

Tamiko Beyer’s poetry has appeared in diode, The Sonora Review, Little Red Leaves, Copper Nickel, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of a grant from the Astraea Foundations’ Emerging Lesbian Writers Fund and is a Kundiman Asian American Poetry Fellow. She serves as the poetry editor at Drunken Boat and is pursuing an M.F.A at Washington University in St. Louis. Currently, she blogs at

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