When did I become the person
who would call my person my lover?
I have trained in lechery and free
love and dishonesty. I can
theorize and politic my way
in and out of the taxonomy of
pseudo-intimacies, made less so
in the proclamation game. What
if the word was allowed to describe
the truth instead of act as proof?
One who loves. I became a person
saying what I see. My lover
calls me best beloved when
she writes to me. I can hear it
in her twang and drawl, sounding
like advice: you best be loved.
Alicia Mountain is the author of FOUR IN HAND (BOA Editions 2023) and HIGH GROUND COWARD (Iowa 2018), which won the Iowa Poetry Prize. Her work appears in American Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, Adroit Journal, Ploughshares, and The Nation and elsewhere. Mountain is a contributing editor at the Kenyon Review and serves on the Board of Directors for Foglifter. She is a lesbian poet living in New York where she teaches at the Writer's Foundry MFA program at St. Joseph's College.