Our June 2023 Rumpus Poetry Book Club selection is Megan Fernandes‘s, I Do Everything I’m Told, which explores disobedience and worship, longing and possessiveness, and endless nights of wandering cities. Read an excerpt below and subscribe by May 15 to the Poetry Book Club to receive this title and an invitation to an exclusive conversation with the author via Crowdcast.



On the plane to Zurich, you tell me
you’ve recently moved your birthday to June.

When I ask, how does one move their birthday,
you say that you’ve always felt

you deserved to be born in summer.
While you’re talking, I can’t believe my luck

that we’ve been seated together at random
since I spotted you at the gate

and thought the drum in your ear
was beating faster than the world.

You say, I used to have psychological problems,
but now that’s all settled, as if you’ve just closed

a deal on a house. When you pull out
a sleep mask, studded in blue rhinestones,

and announce your bedtime routine
while singing Prince, and everyone in our row

stares, I steady your giant box of cosmetics
and think, oh my god, I’m in love with you.

With anyone who can make a home of brevity
or insist on a new season for their birth.

Come see me in Vienna, you say. And I do.
Because I believe so much in being led.


Excerpted from I Do Everything I’m Told by Megan Fernandes. Reprinted with permission from Tin House. Copyright (c) 2023 by Megan Fernandes.

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