top of page


Diannely Antigua




You’re not supposed to look directly at it —

the eye, the penis, the eye.

You drive away in a borrowed car,

listening to music illegally downloaded when you were 12.

You’re not supposed to like it

the sex—because he’s different than the one before him. You’re

supposed to be in love. Still.

You stop at a red light,

chew a piece of gum. You don’t want

to tell your therapist tomorrow, it will just confirm the pattern.

You drive by the diner, see people lining the sidewalks,

glasses ready to protect their eyes from the sun.

You’re not supposed to look directly at it—

the light can cause temporary or permanent

blindness. This morning in bed,

you talked about the sun

and the universe and romantic things like stars

and flavored lube. You’re not supposed to talk about your ex.

But you did. And there was no waxing circle of light

to tell you when to stop. The moon is

an overused vehicle, and the sun

is your father. You’re not supposed to

need them. Or their orbits,

the motion of a lover’s hips, when from above he casts

the slightest shadow on your skin.

It all feels like science, your bodies move

in a rhythm before there was time, and a wave

before there was water.







The first time was an accident,

how the edge of the couch felt


watching cartoons in a wet bathing suit.

Or when I hugged my green teddy bear,


its fuzzed leg resting in the split of mine.

Maybe it was bouncing on his knee—


Truck, truck to Boston,

truck, truck to Maine—when I fell


into feeling good. No,

it was when I lay on her thigh,


and we rubbed our skin into pennies

newly flattened on a train track.






Diannely Antigua is currently an MFA candidate at New York University. Her book Ugly Music, forthcoming from YesYes Books, was chosen for the 2017 Pamet River Prize. Her poems can be found in Day One, Vinyl, Split Lip Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Her heart is in Brooklyn.

bottom of page