American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Open Mic · Passage · Performance Poetry · Poetry · Slam Poetry · Spoken Word

Buddy Wakefield

I no longer need you to fuck me as hard as I hated myself.

Make love to me
like you know I am better
than the worst thing I ever did.
Go slow.
I’m new to this.
But I have seen nearly every city from a rooftop
without jumping.
I have realized

that the moon
did not have to be full for us to love it,
that we are not tragedies
stranded here beneath it,
that if my heart
really broke
every time I fell from love
I’d be able to offer you confetti by now.

But hearts don’t break,
y’all,
they bruise and get better.
We were never tragedies.
We were emergencies.
You call 9 – 1 – 1.
Tell them I’m having a fantastic time.

— Buddy Wakefield, from “We Were Emergencies,” The World: Before & After. (Fireign Records, November 29, 2011)

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