Taylor Byas

When I Marry A Poet, We Will Argue Over Descriptions

In bed, before the frictious hush of dry shins untangling, he sees the sun nosing
through the window. Begging at our feet. Asks me, who is the better poet, I wonder? He
loves me because I humor him, because I tell him to put his money where every part
of my body has been. He says the sun waits for us at the foot of the bed like a pup waiting to be
fed. I say the sun taps out its own morse code on the sheets, goads us to waking and wanting what we
don’t have time for. He says we have time now, but no no, he must finish what he has started.

Frustrated, he says, the sun is an anvil of heat that beats the window to breaking. I say, the sun
is a pulley that pulls me from the worst dreams. He says the sun is surgical, surging through the
gauze of clouds like scissors. I say, the sun sutures what the dark split the night before. And when
we talk in opposites he gets more extreme. Calls the sun everything but a child of
God—peeping tom, touchy motherfucker, that jealous, jealous gold. And I see him, clear as day.
How do I tell him that he’s shown me everything? What will I do with what I know?

Taylor Byas is a Black Chicago native currently living in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she is now a PhD candidate and Yates scholar at the University of Cincinnati, and an Assistant Features Editor for The Rumpus. She is the 1st place winner of the 2020 Poetry Super Highway, the 2020 Frontier Poetry Award for New Poets Contests, the 2021 Adrienne Rich Poetry Prize, and a finalist for the 2020 Frontier OPEN Prize. She is the author of the chapbook Bloodwarm from Variant Lit, a second chapbook, Shutter, from Madhouse Press, and her debut full-length, I Done Clicked My Heels Three Times, forthcoming from Soft Skull Press in Spring of 2023. She is represented by Rena Rossner of the Deborah Harris Agency.