May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

Our guest editor is Su Hwang, author of Lyricality’s Read Poetry 2020 selection Bodega.

aegor ray is a writer and interdisciplinary artist. He organizes with the Sex Workers Outreach Project in Minneapolis. aegor is writing a collection of trans speculative fiction and paranormal romance short stories. He is a Sagittarius.

Su Hwang selects “essential worker” by aegor ray

essential worker
by aegor ray

bulb tugs softly between 
……….twin sloping branches
or porous – rough at the center 
……….and studded through with holes
there are lambs moving 
……….in the gaps of my fingers
I am sick of working
……….each day I am pitted 
a white bird pisses 
……….from the sky and shocks the day’s 
fluorescence out of me
……….I am as gentle as I am cellular
my body: a knot that time makes
……….stretched and hung
from labor’s washboard, slats cleaving 
……….the space I have left
at night I become moss, 
……….staining the mattress pad 
with my day-glo belly
……….the bones in my feet are split
insects with their legs pulled off
……….it hurts me to smile
my diaphragm is hooked near the washer
……….there is so much to do 
and I am tired of feeding myself
……….the past is clotted with debt
I pick out with bone 
……….as much as I carry
this is my job. what stops me 
……….are the spruce’s wet lungs and 
my impulse to vibrate
……….everything I can’t lose. I basically 
huff it. til it molds me 
……….at the root. I am fighting with grief. 
my footfall woven through 
……….with the sighs of people 
working. what I have 
……….to give is everything.

Explore concepts of “adventure in the context of everyday,” “identity in relationship to other beings,” and “transformation by reorienting our experience of the familiar” in this 10-minute Loft Spotlight: Aegor Ray

This 10-minute video interview from The Loft references Aegor’s class Sense of Adventure: The Sky Rains Diamonds—Crafting Poetry from Nature and Space Documentaries, taught winter/spring 2021.

“This year has been really about learning that I can find that sense of adventure, that sense of transformation in so many small things, but what it takes is my attention.”

aegor ray