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.
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
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.
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.