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Two poems by Summer LoPriore

When a Woman Buys a Gun, It Lies in a Man’s Room

My mother is a wild thing.

When a woman births a little girl, she cries into existence in a man’s world,

But my mother was eighteen when she met my father,

and when a woman gets pregnant by a man, men tell her what to do about it,

and the truth is they stopped loving each other when I was a kid.

and when a girl walks home, and men trail her and try to take her—

Now she sleeps on the floor in my room so that he can have the bed

the Akan wanted to talk about property, but they chose gun for a reason.

and so she doesn’t have to sleep next to him.

Women are wild things, silenced and padded, brutalized

I know her back hurts every day.

in a man’s room that they bought together.

Our home is in his name.


Mom, last night I dreamt that you held

your four daughters like the four seasons

rock us into time. I dreamt

you shone in newfound light

like the creation of the world. Mom,

I dreamt we took the house for our own,

and it was like hands interlaced in the backseat.

Mom, I dreamt you flew far away

and I watched it happen and I didn’t stop you.

Mom, I know you named me for the sun

and a family’s hope and in my dream

I could contain it, I could fix it.

Mom, you got out of there. Mom, you

bought a new sweater to brace the cold

and you walked out of here. Mom

you deserve everything a world has. Mom

come outside! Come to the driveway

in your bare feet and watch the sun

sink into the world with me. Mom,

it’s not drowning, it’s floating it’s swimming.

Mom, those aren’t warning bells,

they’re chimes. Mom, I’m watching you run.

Summer LoPriore’s latest work is titled The Sun Is Born Over The Ocean. She earned a scholarship from Trinity College to attend Poetry By The Sea in 2022 and received an Honorable Mention from the 2022 Academy of American Poets Prize, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets.

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