Are You Normal Tonight?

Libby Burton

The arterial beauty of Florida is alive in all of its obesity.
                                                                                                    And the sequin-sellers are doing good business
east of Granada Boulevard.

The sad-eyed woman's ultrasound image—all dirty blur of gray and ambiguous genitalia—sits
lovingly electric on your newsfeed.

And the neighbor with his disorder you invented is going out tonight.


The starlet will eat a sandwich and Kevin will push the joke
too far—the vomit, the bobby pins—

and that's OK tonight.

And your mother, with her rough hands, her quiet advice, has walked
along the sidewalk knowing how cold a wooden house can feel,

wondering whose soft, strange lips she could kiss.

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Libby Burton is the author of Soft Volcano (2018), which was selected by Ross Gay as winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She is a senior editor at Henry Holt and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

May 2019

Chicago, Illinois

Art Director and Exhibitions Cocurator, Interim Coeditor
Fred Sasaki

Interim Coeditor
Lindsay Garbutt

Associate Editor
Holly Amos

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