The Two Times I Loved You the Most On a Farm

From Aimee Nezhukumatathil's Latest Book, Oceanic

May 29, 2018  By Aimee Nezhukumatathil

after Dorothea Grossman


It was your idea to teach me how to sleep

under the stars       how to hold a gun      how

to shoot it in the air              and firework it

    across the setting sun          a silver dragonfly

with a singular purpose:     to hunt

and snap        its mouth around          the sweetest bee—

pluck it right out of the air—

I didn’t know                      love could be so loud.


And once, the fields                        of soybean and mice

              became           a kind of       prayer,

                          shushing tassels            on the blown-back

      calico curtains   of your                childhood bedroom

where                you kissed me           my shoulders

before    the window—    I never saw           the ribs

        of a silver silo       that way again.


Aimee Nezhukumatathil Oceanic 

From Oceanic. Used with permission of Copper Canyon. Copyright © 2018 by Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of World of Wonders, an illustrated essay collection published by Milkweed Editions in September 2020, as well as of four books of poetry, including, most recently, Oceanic, winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Other awards for her writing include fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Mississippi Arts Council, and MacDowell. Her writing appears in Poetry, the New York Times Magazine, ESPN, and Tin House. She serves as poetry faculty for the Writing Workshops in Greece and is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.

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