two poems



I-beams remind me 

of the first person. 

And the second person. 

I love the bones of you. 

Look at that building going up across the street. 

The construction workers have spray painted 

Esther, Kate, Delilah, Meg, 

Rhonda, Cherisse, Chantelle, Sue— 

all up and down and across 

the huge I-beams of their 

magnificent work in progress. 

Julia, Lucretia, Veronica, Eve, 

Heidi, Cassandra, Sonya, Ruth— 

The names of so many 

women and girls (and also a few men— 

Fong, Steve, Hugh

at the heart of so many life stories. 

And after the concrete gets poured 

and the sheetrock goes up 

and all the metal and glass, 

and the carpeting goes down 

and all the doors get hung, 

those names will be in there 

forever, written on the very 

rib of the creation.


I am in love with the man 

who let me in 

in traffic this morning 

with a silent arpeggio 

above his steering wheel 

signaling me to enter 

where he waited 

and all that huddled humanity 

balked and steamed 

in a long line behind him. 

I am in love

with the eternal feminine 

in the man 

who lets me 

in the ways 

of the world.


Paul Hostovsky's poems have won a Pushcart Prize and two Best of the Net Awards. Visit him at