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J. Jennifer Espinoza (she/her/hers) reads the poem, "You are beautiful" by Dorothea Lasky.

"You are beautiful," from Thunderbird. Copyright 2013 by Dorothea Lasky. Used with permission of the author and Wave Books (

J. Jennifer Espinoza:

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My name is Jennifer Espinoza, and I am a poet currently living in California.

Today I'm going to be sharing a poem called "You are beautiful" written by Dorothea Lasky, from her collection Thunderbird, released in 2012. This is a poem that is really special to me for the way that it addresses love.

I feel like this poem talks about love in a way that I haven't seen in other poems before. This poem addresses love as  something that is both messy  and beautiful and transcendent  and sometimes scary. It's a poem about the  liberatory potential of love and  the freedom that comes when  you allow yourself to be loved, which can often be painful  and difficult but, you know,  also transcendent and beautiful.

You are beautiful But you are also heartbreak Locked forever frozen in time A cry I cannot get out No matter how much I grease myself With honey  Pink palette of grapefruit, the book on the shoulder Of the room, the rose gardens But I do not want you to be so I want to be spilling forth with the acid yellow honey of the bees O love, take me thusforth Into your secret places I will never travel I will never wake You are more than heartbreak In your fanciful suits and closing sighs You are more than the shining blue room On the afternoon of the date, the cold bite You are the hot breath too I take myself into The hot red fruit I take myself into The living breathing thing I take in, I want to Be a watery nymph in a wooded grove With you I want to be a cloud so full of honey That there is nothing left of me Until I throw myself into the fire And am contained forever I will be contained forever, a thing of beauty Forever I will be that thing forever I don’t want to be beautiful with you I want to be an ugly, wretched, bleeding thing Poring out on the windmills I want to be the locked tiger they can’t lock up Until it murders and then rages through the fields Of wild grasses  I want to be so wild they can’t lock me up Put fences around me to pen me in I will be so full of fire that they won’t be able to extinguish me Before the beauty comes I want to be so full of fire That they can’t tell me from you, my wretched angel Sweet animal, they locked us in this life  But I think we still have time before we have to get out of it