Julie Marie Wade: Poems

Born in Seattle in 1979, Julie Marie Wade completed a Master of Arts in English at Western Washington University in 2003, a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities at the University of Louisville in 2012. She is the author of Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures (Colgate University Press, 2010), winner of the Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Memoir, Without: Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2010), selected for the New Women’s Voices Chapbook Series, Small Fires; Essays (Sarabande Books, 2011), selected for the Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature, Postage Due: Poems & Prose Poems (White Pine Press, 2013), winner of the Marie Alexander Poetry Series, and the forthcoming Tremolo: An Essay (Bloom Press, 2013), winner of the Bloom Nonfiction Chapbook Prize. Wade is the newest member of the creative writing faculty at Florida International University in Miami.




I remember when all I wanted was to fuck:   the urge curdling every cultivated propriety.

I had not so much as sniffed a woman, never tippled in the terrible, tender places her clothes concealed: damp armpits sprouting with hairs, ankle-bones, shoulder-bones                  bewitching.

And the grease of the thighs at the point where they come together—delta of heat, of fragrant fire.

When she said yes, a soft almost inaudible permission; when she lay back & spread herself to the place I should enter, it was Satan himself offering to Christ the temple—whole world in exchange for a prayer.

If you will only bow down & worship me.

I felt the Serpent himself attending: tongue piercing groin, dust filling belly, that hunger that is like no other seizing hold of my (once-iron) will.

In that moment, my eyes opened to the darkest of pleasures, which turned to the deepest of pains. How she was silent, how complicit /unflinching—how bold in the face of her sin.

A woman is a grave, my father warned me.

I walk dead before God & men.

* * *

Picture 2

* * *


Artist: Yves Tanguy
1927, 92 X 65 cm, Oil on Canvas
Museum of Modern Art, New York

Perhaps it is war-time, & Riding Hood has been besieged by birds.
I cannot promise you anything but doves.
Like those scattering the walkways in Honolulu.
Or gold pelicans skirting the long Orlando highway.

A lightning-bolt strikes under your cursor.
Smoke from a chimney that hasn’t felt fire in years.
What to make of the inquiry now, the insinuation?
A kettle teeming with kippers & other assorted fish.

Slow gradient of gray, ascending.
The unkempt woman ragged in the wind.
Pastiche is just a softer word for paranoia.
The Wolf acquires another county seat.


  1. […] exercises); Lynne Barrett (revision); Campbell McGrath (poetry); Debra Dean (novel writing);  Julie Marie Wade (memoir); and the previously guest faculty members short story writer and essayist Steve Almond (My […]

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