This is a love poem I wrote about my girlfriend, and it is meant to highlight the beauty in

the uniqueness of relationships. I read it to her the day I told her that I love her.

no u


Pinterest once told me that the best way to convince readers that your characters are in

love is to make them say “i love you” without saying “i love you”


my friends say dumb things like “Okay, Stinky” and “Love isn’t even the beginning”

my favorite novel says “I’m Madagascar. And you’re Africa.”

and of course there are the classics like “Thus with this kiss I die,” “And so the Lion fell

in love with the lamb,” and “Okay? Okay.”

For my first love it was a blue heart

And then “I like you a lottle” (it’s like a little but a lot)


For her, it’s more than water in fountains or rivers or oceans

It’s more than the stars, more than the lights of the cities I long to see

It’s more than the color yellow, more than the coffee I drink each day

More than me


For her, it’s “no u”

After every you’re cute, you’re silly, you’re a dork, you’re hot, you’re dumb

“no u”


I’m sure she knows, but let’s keep that one between us for now


See, I haven’t told her yet


Black Bibliography is a prose poem about the Southern United States. The opening

stanza is intended to show the environmental issues that are so large one can see them

by looking out a window. The last shows the erasure of black issues, and the entire poem

is meant to show how I feel as though AFAB people are erased as well. It often seems

like the goal of white southern men is to simply forget environmental issues and black

issues and feminist issues, to push us all to the dusty back corner of the library and

forget that we were ever there to challenge them.

Black Bibliography


My favorite space in Hodges Library is the back corner of the sixth floor. The

window overlooks class buildings and apartment complexes and parking garages and

scattered trees and trash throughout the cement. The highest floor puts me at eye level

with the horizon. I’ve always pictured myself opening the double locked and sealed

window and walking along the edge until there is no roof left.


When an assignment keeps me captive until three or four in the morning, my

eyes always wander to the shelves of endless books. Maybe because it’s surrounded by

smaller volumes with boring titles like The Ohio History Guide and National

Conference on the State of Canadian Bibliography Proceedings, or because it has never

moved, but one book always catches my attention. Black Bibliography. The text is

huge with smeared ink like it was written with a typewriter, and according to the

checkout card, the last time someone took it home was July 25, 1989. Someday I’ll figure

out how to open that goddamn window, and when I do, I don’t think anyone will notice

that either of us have gone.


Biographical Note: Chevelle Avery Benton is a senior English major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a concentration in Creative Writing. Their work has been featured in The University of Tennessee’s literary magazine, The Phoenix, and they enjoy reading and drinking coffee in their free time. After this academic year, they plan to go to graduate school for an MFA in Creative Writing and eventually publish a novel.