Moons on the upper visual field. I replay many springs for their ripening heat. Five limb in me: Ornate, Greased, Codling, Luna, Death’s-head. Two supernatural, three balance need. I feed on fat apples, pears: Tunnel toward center, a heaven in the core. Instinct attempts to correct with a turn toward light. My dress a brief darkness. Flits there. Another set of wings to tear. Spiral me in the silk of my tongue. Farm what is economical in me: Blood for blood, heart for snare. Scent, sweet air: My cedar, hung juniper, lavender cross: What holds the body keeps the body blesses the body’s lack. Is that not a blessing? What blooms in me: Trouble. Trouble. Trouble. So I consume. So I feed what festers. When navigating artificial light, the angle changes noticeably. Angle strict, beloved: My head a mess of moon.
Copyright © 2019 by Carly Joy Miller. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 6, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“I’ve embraced that I’m working toward a poetics of desire, and desire bears obsession. When an animal comes into my sight, I obsess: What is it about this particular beast, and how can I make it mine? There is a belief that we'll meet five soulmates in our lifetime. I (figuratively, of course) placed five moths in my body to discover how their instincts play into mine.”
—Carly Joy Miller
Carly Joy Miller
Carly Joy Miller is the author of Ceremonial (Orison Books, 2018), selected by Carl Phillips as the winner of the Orison Prize for Poetry.
Date Published: 2019-03-06
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/five-moths