10 Love Poems by Queer Poets for Your Queer Valentine’s Day

feature image via shutterstock

Valentine’s Day is as good excuse as any to read ten sexy/swoony/lovely poems by ten sexy/swoony/lovely queer poets, right? Of course it is! Poems are really great at talking about feelings, especially if you find feelings-talk hard but still have some deep, wiggly ones about someone in your life like your best gal pal or your cat or your cutie pie of a co-worker. You can also read them outloud to yourself before bed, which does not feel nearly as weird as it sounds, promise.

Read on, lovers!

1.Ardent” by Jill McDonough

“I want to give you green and golden fields, alfalfa, wheat / in sunlight, August, three p.m.”

Where You Live

2.Tree Heart/True Heart” by Kay Ryan

“The hearts of trees / are serially displaced / pressed annually / outward to a ring.”

The Best of It: New and Selected Poems

3.Love Poem to a Butch Woman” by Deborah A. Miranda

“I want to re-fashion / the matrix of creation, make a human being / from the human love that passes between / our bodies.”

Raised By Humans

4.The Aureole” by Nikky Finney

“My lips are red snails / in a primal search for every constellation / hiding in the sky of your body.”

Head Off & Split

5. “[Didn’t Sappho say her guts clutched up like this?]” by Marilyn Hacker

“Before a face suddenly numinous, / her eyes watered, knees melted.”

Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons

6.Want” by Joan Larkin

“I want a woman’s wit swift as a fox.”

My Body: New and Selected Poems

7.Recreation” by Audre Lorde

“my body / writes into your flesh / the poem / you make of me.”

The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde

8. “In Excelsis” by Amy Lowell

“The movement of your hands is the long, golden running of light from a rising sun; / It is the hopping of birds upon a garden-path.”

The Selected Poems of Amy Lowell

9.Fear, A Love Poem” by Cherríe L. Moraga

“and I am left, standing / with your face / in my hands / like a mirror.”

Loving in the War Years

10.bodymap” by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

“if a map names where bodies begin and end & who will own their treasures”


Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Maree lives in Berlin and is usually carrying some sort of Tupperware product on her person. She's written for Marie Claire, The Rumpus, and Teen Vogue, but still has not fulfilled her lifelong dream of seeing a real blue-footed booby. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter and probably the dance floor.

Maree has written 24 articles for us.


  1. Love this list! Might I add, “Grief Work” by Natalie Diaz: “Achilles chasing Hektor round the walls of Ilium / three times. How long must I circle / the high gate above her knees? […] I do my grief work with her body–labor / to make the emerald tigers in her hips leap, / lead them burning green/ to drink from the violet jetting her.”

    • HOW have I never heard of this glorious Natalie poet before!?!?!? “When the eyes and lips are touched with honey / what is seen and said will never be the same.” SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON.

  2. Oh gosh, I didn’t know how much I needed poetry today! Here is a quick haiku of appreciation:

    Tuesday like Monday,
    Sitting in my cold office
    These poems warm me up!

  3. Poetry! Excellent! I will read my way through them all, but any poem that contains the line ‘Etymological research of “ardent”‘ already has to be great.

  4. Oh, these are lovely, thank you! And I agree that poetry read aloud is a particular treat, even if the only one there to hear it is you (for you, too, are loved… it’s important to remember that at times).

    • Sometimes I want to make a collage of everything self-care this site brings me. There would be all the things by Yao Xiao obviously, and then there are comments like this one .


  5. “A Decade”

    When you came, you were like red wine and honey,

    And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.

    Now you are like morning bread,

    Smooth and pleasant.

    I hardly taste you at all for I know your savour,

    But I am completely nourished.
    Amy Lowell (1874-1925)

  6. My gosh, I absolutely adore “Want”. Is it weird to put an entire poem on a t-shirt? Because I kind of want everyone I meet to read it.

Comments are closed.