Published on Academy of American Poets (

Born. Living. Will. Die.

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.

About this Poem

“This poem is an ode to my auntie, who is the freest person I know. In her garden in Antigua, she grows mangoes, which represent the sweetness of life and the serenity of self-sufficiency.”
Camonghne Felix


Camonghne Felix

Camonghne Felix is the author of Build Yourself a Boat (Haymarket Books, 2019), which was long-listed for the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry

Date Published: 2021-07-07

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