i love you to the moon &

i love you to the moon &
by Chen Chen

not back, let’s not come back, let’s go by the speed of
queer zest & stay up
there & get ourselves a little
moon cottage (so pretty), then start a moon garden

with lots of moon veggies (so healthy), i mean
i was already moonlighting
as an online moonologist
most weekends, so this is the immensely

logical next step, are you
packing your bags yet, don’t forget your
sailor moon jean jacket, let’s wear
our sailor moon jean jackets while twirling in that lighter,

queerer moon gravity, let’s love each other
(so good) on the moon, let’s love
the moon
on the moon

About the Poem

“I love the moon. I love love. And I’m always thinking about these idiomatic expressions which become cliched over time, but when you really think about them, they’re mysterious—enigmatic expressions. I wanted to give back to this piece of language some of its giddy mystery. To say ‘I love you’ is at once everyday and extraordinary, like the glorious fact of the moon.”—Chen Chen

About the Poet

Chen Chen’s second book of poetry, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency, is forthcoming from BOA Editions in Sept. 2022. His debut, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, among other honors. Upon receiving the Thom Gunn Award, he said, “”I am honored and astounded to receive this award for a book that I wrote really because I needed it—poems that refuse to separate sexuality and race, that are political and restless and just, a whole lot of gaysian feelings. I did not anticipate such a beautiful response from readers and it’s the greatest gift, seeing how LGBTQ readers in particular have responded. To be recognized specifically by an award named after one of the most visionary gay poets—I am deeply moved.”

Chen is also the author of four chapbooks and the forthcoming book of essays, In Cahoots with the Rabbit God (Noemi Press, 2023). His work appears/is forthcoming in many publications, including Poem-a-Day and three editions of The Best American Poetry (2015, 2019, & 2021). He has received a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Kundiman and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches at Brandeis University as the Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence and serves on the poetry faculty for the low-residency MFA programs at New England College and Stonecoast. With a brilliant team, he edits the journal, Underblong.

Chen Chen was born in Xiamen, China, and grew up in Massachusetts. He lives in Waltham, MA with his partner, Jeff Gilbert and their pug, Mr. Rupert Giles.

🏳️‍🌈 LGBT POETS FOR PRIDE MONTH 🏳️‍🌈

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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