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.

Feature Date

Series

Selected By

Share This Poem

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Print This Poem

Share on print

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 Coeditors
Lindsay Garbutt

Associate Editor
Holly Amos

Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Harriet Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume I of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre, or approach.

Poetry Daily Depends on You

With your support, we make reading the best contemporary poetry a treasured daily experience. Consider a contribution today.