The Poetry Project

mai c. doan

i wore a new clip in my hair today and you didn’t even see me in it

i wrote this poem on my phone while you were on your phone
that’s just how we are now
both of us xxxx staring off into some blue
light of our own longing xxxxxxx visioning
into the screen xx becoming

some version of ourselves
on the internet

maybe this is us becoming xxxx more
of ourselves xxx and maybe we are
coming apart xxx and not together

(that’s okay) sometimes togetherness isn’t everything

sometimes you have to peel apart
behind two tiny screens in
order to find yourself
again x alone in the same
room you’ve been sitting in for hours
the daylight x gone
you xxx your own lover
with some kind of longing
with nothing left
to fill it with xx but yourself

so there you are

getting full on your own
fulfillment xxxxx getting off on
watching yourself
get undressed and adorned
in your own
fantastical accessories
ghost cat hair clips
fuzzy llama
rose water lip and
summer peach shine

i feel lonely sitting next to you
in my

and i think romance
is just self-inflicted violence
with flowers
or just boredom talking over itself
just the same drone of loneliness
and suffocating isolation


maybe i’ll see you in the blue
light sometime or maybe not
either way i’ll have x my phone
and me becoming
alongside it
or inside it
where xx i’ll watch myself
become more xx of some self
some self
where i’ve stopped waiting
for some piece xxxxx of the world
to see


i want
a party of skin
and smoke
and phosphorescent
light. i want to be
out late twirling
under some queer
luminescence and vibrating
with sound.
i want us to be
sick together and then
sweat it all out
i want us to find ourselves
outside in some
glittering alley
as purple spreads across
the sky
everyone still awake
and everyone
still alive.

femme magic

the winds arrive with dusk
and the muskrat
in the ditch.
a block away, a pack
of houses forms a star.
each point, a tiny glimmer
of light budding
with its own
song. we arrive
on the rhythms of our
own verse
as the sun rises
to greet the earth
and the blood
we have poured into
the roots of our plants.
here: we grow.
here: we take care.
here: we give birth
to a different
kind of life.


somewhere Uranus and her
essence vibrates across the sky
and we tangled in her
field, might feel.
as the winds sweep in
and the planets do their thing
i write and leave a tear stain page
blurring my own ink
to remember the
times: this fourth new moon
in the fourth month of the year
in a year numbered four.
it's been four months since i left.
four months of unravelling.
completely. four months is just
a baby. is a tiny thing.

a new moon means no moon in sight.

i think i am meant to be here.
working with the wind.
wrapping myself in darkness.
letting the planets change me.
giving myself over
to the sky.

on indigenous people's day

after the day breaks
after another rise of mourning
after the waters swallow
xxxxx the names of all their dead
after the light aches and then bends
after the prayers end
after the full moon and in the stretch of her still glow
after the night goes black
after she leaves in search of her missing stars
after she wanders and
after we wake
after the fires burn out
after the fires burn
after the fires

Issue 16