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2 poems by Monica Prince


“My friend James says I should love you anyway.”

—Jamila Woods, “Baldwin”

The term metamour—

made up by the polyamory

community, rooted somewhat

in etymology, (meta: denoting

a position behind, after,

or beyond; mour: to live,

to exist; from amour,

meaning lover, or secret

or illicit love affair;

from paramour, meaning

a lover, especially

the illicit partner of

a married person)—means

the beloved of my beloved

with whom I have no

obligation of formal

relationship beyond

acknowledgment, humane

concern, and a shared

calendar, yet I still

indulge in jealousy

masking insecurity, (are

they prettier, smarter, better

in bed…) rather than

seek out additional

company elsewhere,

find my own lover

to label metamour

for my paramour, sleep

alone, reach for pleasure

without fear of cross-

contamination, sharing

fluids and infections,

withholding sex until

results return clean,

worried about feeling

special, desperate for extra

attention like all of it

isn’t enough, distracted

by the inaccurate belief

in love like fossil fuels, like

uranium, like gold,

until body horizontal

and warm, wrapped

in pulsing gratitude, pours

more amour into existence,

proof live is really oxygen

modified, sunlight

for now, exhale for mountain

ash or dandelion or juniper

bush—plenty to go around,

plenty to pollute

these pores, spill over into

another metamour, one

who is not mine like

capital but mine like

inheritance: present,

peripheral, always

considered with the original

beloved in mind.

Zeptosecond (against Twitter’s wishes)

Despite Twitter’s pleas, here I am—

writing a poem about a zeptosecond.

According to scientists, a zeptosecond is

a trillionth of a billionth of a second,

and I want to write a poem

(ignoring Molly Spencer’s advice)

about love, how it manifests this quickly.

I do not believe anything is off limits

when it comes to poetry, or love,

so expect this line—

I loved you in the first zeptosecond.

And this one—every zeptosecond

spent loving you makes the decades

of loneliness worth it. Do you want more?

How about this? It takes 247 zeptoseconds

for a light particle to cross a hydrogen molecule,

and at the rate joy enters my soul

when you cross a room toward me, you’re faster

than light. I’m full of them, puns

disguised as love poems, promises

portrayed as scientific discoveries.

I know—it’s so poetic of me

to turn every random trivia

into a metaphor for our forever,

and if I was any other way, I imagine

loving me would be less fun.

Why resist gifts given through social media?

Why give up the opportunity to tell you what

I love you to the moon and back really means?

Every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck

twenty miles—in a lifetime, that’s the equivalent

to driving to the moon and back,

so when I say I love you to the moon and back,

I mean with all the blood my heart pumps

my whole life. I mean, every blood vessel

is yours, every time you look at the moon

we’re together, every moment alive is billions

of trillions of zeptoseconds I get to love you.

And you love a poet—expect infinite poems

reminding you we’re endless, the only unit I need.


Monica Prince teaches activist and performance writing and serves as Director of Africana Studies at Susquehanna University. She’s the author of three poetry collections, most recently her forthcoming choreopoem, Roadmap. Follow her on Twitter @poetic_moni or on her website


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