Praise House: The New Economy


        -- after and for Ross Gay



The rosemary bush blooming

its unabashed blue. Also dumplings

filled with steam and soup 

so my mouth fills and I bubble

over with laughter. Little things.

People kissing on bicycles.

Being able to walk up the stairs

and run back down.

Joanna’s garden after the long flight

to Tel Aviv. Not being detained

like everyone thought I would.

The man with dreadlocks

and a perfect green shirt walking home

from work. One cold beer 

before I drink it and get sick.

How peaches mold into compost in a single day:

orange to gray to darkness into dirt.

Her ankle’s taste. The skin

right under the knob, delicate

as a tomatillo’s shroud. All the animals

that talk to me. That I finally let them

talk to me. The blessing of waking

early enough to watch the fox

bathe itself. The suction of a man’s hands 

meeting another’s on the street. 

Every single person looking up 

to see them. Bros, yes. But lovely 

in the golden light with brims swung

to the back. I want shoulders like 

they have. Want my waist to taper 

to an ass built like the David’s. I admit it:

this body’s not enough for me.

Still I love it. Al B Sure blasting

out a Nissan Sentra’s windows.

Bowties. Ridiculous blues.

My mother’s seizures- specifically

that I don’t have them.

That I can answer Ross’ call

or not because we live Harmonious

and are always talking somehow. 

Tapestries with their gluttony of deer.

Fig perfume and also cypress.

Boxer briefs and packing socks

in jockey shorts. Strap ons.

Soft and hard. Welcome in her hand

and in mine as I greet the real me.

The little shop in Provincetown.

And the speckled dog that licks itself

in that fresco of the crucifixion.

Mary Oliver. I love her. I really do.

The baseball she gave me

that says, “Go Sox!” Though, I love

the Orioles. Old Bay on all my shrimp.

And justice. And cities burning

if people need to burn them to get free.

My grandmother gardening 

in the late light. Sun Ra. The first time.

Paris, even though I’ve never been

there. Natal plums. Tattoos everlasting:

Clouds. Orion’s belt. Pushing inside her

with both hands holding myself 

up. My weight. Her grabbing and saying,

“God.” “Fuck.” The neighbors.

Casablanca. Not knowing anything. 

Angels. Mashed potatoes. Good red wine.



Found In Volume 44, No. 06
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About the Author

Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart and Apocalyptic Swing, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The New York Times, Boston Review, Poetry, and New England Review, among others. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship from Stanford University, a Rona Jaffe Woman Writers Award and residency fellowships from Civitella di Ranieri and the Lannan Foundation. Her third book of poems, Rocket Fantastic, is forthcoming. She is at work on a memoir entitled The Year I Didn't Kill Myself. She is Senior Poetry Editor at Los Angeles Review of Books and teaches at UNC Chapel Hill and in Warren Wilson's MFA Program for Writers.