“Instructions for the Lovers.” A Poem by Dawn Lundy Martin

From the Collection “Instructions for the Lovers”

June 28, 2024  By Dawn Lundy Martin

Instructions for the Lovers

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The lover was here and then was not. This is always the case. The lover persists in loverness and then, poof. Not poof poof but out of the kitchen and casual nakedness. The lover is a long tail though. Whipping around. Not understanding the sublime beauty of respite. I used to fuck almost any body out of starvation hunger that splits the one into many and leaves you arching toward a stinky mattress on a floor. It could be. I could have been. Times when the world dissolved into waves. Who knows that kind of blurry nothingness. Nothing is due. The more my father died the more mattresses. Floors and car interiors. Dirt. Dark air. Hallways. Un-destinations. Railway car junkie smelling of Eau Sauvage Dior.


Instructions for the Lovers - Martin, Dawn Lundy

From Instructions for The Lovers by Dawn Lundy Martin (Nightboat Books, 2024). Copyright © 2024 by Dawn Lundy Martin. Reprinted with permission of Nightboat Books.

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Dawn Lundy Martin
Dawn Lundy Martin
Dawn Lundy Martin is an American poet and essayist. She is the author of four books of poems: Good Stock Strange Blood, winner of the 2019 Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry; Life in a Box is a Pretty Life, which won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry; DISCIPLINE, A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering, three limited edition chapbooks, and a co-written chapbook with Toi Derricotte titled A Bruise is a Figure of Remembrance (Slapering Hol, 2020). Her nonfiction can be found in n+1, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Believer, and Best American Essays 2019. Martin is the Toi Derricotte Endowed Chair in English at the University of Pittsburgh and Director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics.

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