A Reading List of Love Poems

This reading list of love poems published by CLMP member magazines includes poems about love for oneself, lovers, friends, children, parents, and places—as well as poems exploring love’s power dynamics, its paradoxes, its solaces, and more.

All It Seems” by Befaam
Translated from the Gujarati by Meena Desai
Words Without Borders

For me, the history of love
seems to be only this:
first, it is the truth,
then an illusion, or so it seems.

I Would Have Said to My Mother This Spring” by Rhony Bhopla
The Hopper

All morning, I pleased myself by watching crane flies and gnats die in cobwebs.
The soft, sticky traps turn into wispy ropes.

Grandad’s Trip” by Bill Van Buskirk

When he was seventy, he drove in all the way
from California with a trunkful

of marijuana. He’d heard
it was a cure for schizophrenia.

To They for Whom I Am in the Passenger Seat” by [sarah] Cavar

i spent all my lyric years
against slim and straight-
haired girlstheirdyke-shaped
mouths and

Hunger” by Shuly Xóchitl Cawood
The ASP Bulletin

You put on music, start up the stove, a flick of gas
and fire. I slice white potatoes, the staple of generations,
the thing that fills bellies, makes hunger flee
even if we can’t stop craving.

Triple Sonnet Because My Love Language Is Power” by Dorothy Chan

“Divorce is hot,” I say at dinner,
because white men keep projecting
their fantasies onto me…

maybe trying to rest means no more escaping” by Jody Chan
The Seventh Wave

on planes. on pages. the stained backs of receipts.
the cost of living—facial recognition software
and dust tufts on the windowsill. mind rising…

In Love’s Name” by Basudhara Roy Chatterjee
Yugen Quest Review

a land marauded
a language left fallow
a state scissored to slivers

Midsummer Teenage Dream” by Luís Costa

Chlorine covered skin, peach suncream.
He is mowing the lawn.
I’m the last solid moment
of ice cubes,
sprayed scent of peeled tangerines.

Eglantine” by Timothy Donnelly
The Common

Thorn-blossom! Tender thing, prone to solitude
like yours truly, don’t get it twisted if I reach out my hand—

Walking with My Love on Spring Creek Trail” by Camille T. Dungy
The Hopkins Review

Muck a little thicker than predicted
and the moss a little slick, but still

we walk along the creek side,
we walk across the field, we walk

Madre mía” by Lidia Enriquez
Lines & Breaks

Mother, mi mamá
Her warmth, her hugs
We still crave her touch

The Ad Hoc Cartography of Nightmares” by Jesse Gabriel González
The Seventh Wave

The problem with draining the world from your head
is what rushes in to take its place. For you, my love,
after you rocket back into daylight, I imagine it was Hell—
different each night, but always in the form of the Labyrinth.

Eastbound” by C. M. Green

When they cut down the trees on I-64,
I took it to mean the world was ending.

My life was a pocketful of apocalypses.

Abel” by Marisa Handler
Paper Brigade

Tresses so flaxen as to captivate a king. At that age. Later
they would darken and stiffen, later you would shear them close

Church Steps” by Bill Hollands
Raleigh Review

then I heard it

my nameturned and

he opened his arms

Ledge (ars poetica) (love poem) (true story)” by Amorak Huey
The Cincinnati Review

When I say ledge you immediately think of falling but it’s the opposite a ledge is a thing we build into the emptiness so we have a place to stand.

Words of Farewell” by Hwang Jini
Translated from the Korean by Suphil Lee Park
Another Chicago Magazine

Tree bared by the moon
Golden blooms in frost
Sky, an inch away

Incompleteness Theorem” by Alyse Knorr
Another Chicago Magazine

Today for the first time my daughter
utters delicious, you’re welcome, and cloud.

melting point” by Nadja Küchenmeister
Translated from the German by Aimee Chor
Apple Valley Review

you’re always getting something or taking it away
a paper napkin, mustard, the small knife

Unfasten the Silk of Your Silence” by Souad Labbize
Translated from the French by Susanna Lang
Words Without Borders

By the grace of comets
fallen from the brilliant
seal of your voice
I buttress arches

Of Pears and Men” by Linsey Liao

of you,

Between Lifetimes” by Yehoshua November
The Sun

But love is a rusting machine
you call to have serviced over and over again,
hoping the pieces won’t have to be replaced. Again and again
you apply the grease until the engine inches forward.

Grief” by Eugene O’Hare
Full Bleed

on the tenth night, after the tragedy,
i climbed out of the rubble

and, ignoring my wounds, set about
rebuilding your body from everything that fell.

Glory” by Kwame Opoku-Duku
The Common

That summer, the sky seemed so endless. It
would open up and flood the roads at will.
There was such a gentle thunder.
We kissed under water like turtles.

I Want to Take You Home (That’s Dying, Baby)” by Kimberly Ramos
The ASP Bulletin

I’m an acolyte of the corn fields. Baby, if you fall in love
with me, you will have to convert. My family only knows

songs of assimilation, of Catholicism and her hungry
bloody mouth. It is our nature to settle, to swamp.

First Time” by Ashish Kumar Singh
Apple Valley Review

It’s night and the cold sticks
to my bare arms like termites on a piece
of wood. He had said 8:30 and now it’s 9.

The Softness of the Hardness: a Hyakuin Renga—” by Joshua St. Claire & Amber Winter
Saint Augustine’s Magazine

beating the odds
to find you
Las Vegas snow