In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of American poet and spoken-word artist, Nicole Sealey. Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast (Ecco Press, 2017), which was a finalist for the PEN Open Book and Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards. Her chapbook, The Animal After Whom Other Animals are Named (Northwestern University Press, 2016), was the winner of the 2016 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize. Source
This episode includes a reading of her poem, “Object Permanence”, featured in our 2021 Get Lit Anthology.
We wake as if surprised the other is still there,
each petting the sheet to be sure.
How have we managed our way
to this bed—beholden to heat like dawn
indebted to light. Though we’re not so self-
important as to think everything
has led to this, everything has led to this.
There’s a name for the animal
love makes of us—named, I think,
like rain, for the sound it makes.
You are the animal after whom other animals
are named. Until there’s none left to laugh,
days will start with the same startle
and end with caterpillars gorged on milkweed.
O, how we entertain the angels
with our brief animation. O,
how I’ll miss you when we’re dead.