for my favorite auntie, Jeanette

Sometimes I think I’m never going to write a poem again
and then there’s a full moon.

I miss being in love but I miss
myself most when I’m gone.

In the salty wet air of my ancestry
my auntie peels a mango with her teeth

and I’m no longer
writing political poems; because there are

mangoes and my favorite memory is still alive.
I’m digging for meaning but haunted by purpose

and it’s an insufficient approach.
What’s the margin of loss on words not spent today?

I’m getting older. I’m buying smaller images to travel light.
I wake up, I light up, I tidy, and it’s all over now.

Copyright © 2021 by Camonghne Felix. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 7, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

And they will gather by the well,
its dark water a mirror to catch whatever
stars slide by in the slow precession of
the skies, the tilting dome of time, 
over all, a light mist like a scrim,
and here and there some clouds
that will open at the last and let
the moon shine through; it will be 
at the wheel's turning, when
three zeros stand like paw-prints
in the snow; it will be a crescent
moon, and it will shine up from
the dark water like a silver hook
without a fish--until, as we lean closer, 
swimming up from the well, something
dark but glowing, animate, like live coals--
it is our own eyes staring up at us,
as the moon sets its hook;
and they, whose dim shapes are no more
than what we will become, take up
their long-handled dippers
of brass, and one by one, they catch
the moon in the cup-shaped bowls,
and they raise its floating light
to their lips, and with it, they drink back
our eyes, burning with desire to see
into the gullet of night: each one
dips and drinks, and dips, and drinks, 
until there is only dark water,
until there is only the dark.

From The Girl with Bees in Her Hair by Eleanor Rand Wilner. Copyright © 2004 by Eleanor Rand Wilner. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press, All rights reserved.

I, too, am tired of it. And yet, like an old love,
it comes to us, illuminating the bare walls

of our houses, catching its hems
on our thresholds, carrying its little cup of blossoms.

We are done with it.
Aren’t we done with it?

We have told ourselves
only grace can change us;

we have told ourselves
the craft is not the magic;

we have told ourselves
the myths are in our hands.

And yet, Issa wrote to us, and ever.
Let us walk out through the summer grass

and be there. Let us look up through the deepest leaves
and open. Let us wait, then,

while the ancient things
are woken, because haven’t

we always been lonely,
haven’t we looked up

into the wild skies
and asked, too, to be luminous

and ruined,
and risen like this cold stone in the darkness

and changed in it as radiantly as we can?

Copyright © 2020 by Joseph Fasano. This poem originally appeared in South Florida Poetry Journal. Reprinted with permission of the author.

Streetlights out again I'm walking in the dark
lugging groceries up the steps to the porch
whose yellow bulb is about to go too, when a single 
familiar strand intersects my face,
the filament slides across my glasses which seem suddenly
perfectly clean, fresh, and my whole tired day slows down
                   walking into such a giant thread
is a surprise every time,
though I never kill them, I carry them outside
on plastic lids or open books, they live
so plainly and eat the mosquitoes.
                Distant cousins
to the scorpion, mine are pale & small,
dark & discreet. More like the one
who lived in the corner of the old farm kitchen
under the ivy vase and behind the single
candle-pot--black with curved
crotchety legs.
     Maya, weaver of illusions,
     how is it we trust the web, the nest,
     the roof over our heads, we trust the stars
     our guardians who gave us our alphabet?
     We trust the turtle's shell because
     it, too, says house and how can we read
     the footprints of birds on shoreline sand,
     & October twigs that fall to the ground
     in patterns that match the shell & stars?
I feel less and less like
a single self, more like
a weaver, myself, spelling out
formulae from what's given
and from words.

From Reactor by Judith Vollmer. Copyright © 2004 by Judith Vollmer. Reprinted by permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. All rights reserved.

I remember
The crackle of the palm trees
Over the mooned white roofs of the town…
The shining town…
And the tender fumbling of the surf
On the sulphur-yellow beaches
As we sat…a little apart…in the close-pressing night.

The moon hung above us like a golden mango,
And the moist air clung to our faces,
Warm and fragrant as the open mouth of a child
And we watched the out-flung sea
Rolling to the purple edge of the world,
Yet ever back upon itself…
As we…

Inadequate night…
And mooned white memory
Of a tropic sea…
How softly it comes up
Like an ungathered lily.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 15, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.