Permabeauty in the Boston Athenæum

by Andie Sheridan

In ash and thorn
in heightful stacks and stairs
a librarian
stuck through with a pencil
in her hair a pencil
stuck through her hair

clutch-touches through the genealogy of not touching or
begrudging;

Exposed red string
licking to long at the binding; bound to the stacks —I long like glue
like a shy and touch-starved beau

And oh what an absolute crush— of spine browning upon spine
antithetical to medieval lies
Titles lying with all their insides in gory-glory spread

I lie my head in the décolletage
of —letting it break me! And most essentially
forgetting that the letting means forgetting
— embossed to something
written down
Stabbed the self through; with Saint Sebastian’s efemmery
still on the wall
brood-blooming

If you consume the text
–lover’s epidermis and all–
are you bound to them or to ingestion-questioning

forever?
Clever John Marshall clenches his jaw upon bald marble
disapproves of the longing;
His voice a cemetery in my ears
for vanity and vellum!
for I
soliloquizing in ink

Writing Prompt: Write about a beautiful place that inspires awe. Who or what lingers there? How do you experience that place timelessly?


Andie Sheridan is a genderqueer Chinese American poet currently living in Boston. He is a MFA candidate at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he explores a poetic practice interested in creating new forms as a way of creating new queer worlds. Andie’s work has been featured in Hobart Pulp, Neon Door Lit, and The Ekphrastic Review, among others.