Each Defeat

By Eileen Myles Eileen Myles
Please! Keep
reading me
because you’re going to make
me the greatest
poet of
all time

Keep smoothing
the stones in the
let me fry an egg
on your ass
& I’ll pick up
the mail.

I feel your
absence in
the morning
& imagine your
instant mouth
let me move
in with you—
wrapping your limbs
on my back
I grow man woman
I see wild wild wild

Keep letting the
day be massive
Oh please have
my child
      I’m a little
      Prose has some
      Magic. Morgan
had a
whore in
her lap. You
Big fisherman
I love my

I want to lean
my everything
with you
make home for your hubris
I want to read the words you circld over and over again
A slow skunk walking across the road
Yellow, just kind
of pausing
picked up the warm
laundry. I just saw a coyote
tippy tippy tippy
I didn’t tell you about the creature with hair
long hair, it was hit by cars on the highway
Again and again. It had long grey hair
It must’ve been a dog; it could’ve been
Ours. Everyone loses their friends.

I couldn’t tell anyone about this sight.
Each defeat
Is sweet.

Eileen Myles, “Each Defeat” from Sorry, Tree. Copyright © 2007 by Eileen Myles. Reprinted by permission of Wave Books.

Source: Sorry Tree (Wave Books, 2007)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Eileen Myles

Subjects Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets

 Eileen  Myles


Eileen Myles was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1949, was educated in Catholic schools, graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Boston in 1971, and moved to New York City in 1974 to be a poet. She gave her first reading at CBGB's, and then gravitated to St. Mark's church where she studied with Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley and Bill Zavatsky. She has published more than a dozen volumes of poetry and fiction including Not . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.