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Taylor Behnke reads Ada Limón's poem, “What It Looks Like to Us and the Words We Use”.

Taylor Behnke:

From Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2015). Copyright ©
2015 by Ada Limón. Used with permission from Milkweed Editions.

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my name is Taylor Behnke and this is "What It Looks Like to Us and the Words We Use" by Ada Limón.

A friend of mine was sending friends of hers poems on her birthday and this is the poem that she chose for me and it felt really special because it's, it's kind of a poem about a friendship that is not afraid of big questions and disagreements and comfortable silences or uncomfortable silences and that's that's kind of what. I'm going for right, with the people I love.

What It Looks Like to Us and the Words We Use

All these great barns out here in the outskirts,
black creosote boards knee-deep in the bluegrass.
They look so artfully abandoned, even in use.
You say they look like arks after the sea's 
dried up, I say they look like pirate ships,
and I think of that walk in my valley where
J said, You don't believe in God? And I said,
No.  I believe in this connection we all have
to nature, to each other, to the universe.
And she said, Yeah.  God.  And how we stood there,
low beasts among the white oaks, Spanish moss,
and spider webs, obsidian shards stuck in our pockets,
woodpecker flurry, and I refused to call it so.
So instead, we looked up at the unruly sky,
its clouds in simple animal shapes we could name
though we knew they were really just clouds--
disorderly, and marvelous, and ours.