Published on Academy of American Poets (

The Second Beautiful Harvest

I wake in the golden belly of this abode
and sense some diurnal grace at work.
I take my body to the fall, to bathe
and anoint my genitals with shea.
I have made my journey to the cold hills
to commune with my people there.
I come for the second beautiful harvest
and have waited long to look into its eye.
The harvest hosts libations, the meal
and my desire—so I drink the deep
heady liquid of its languid stare, under
the hum of many voices: burgeoning
friendships and reunion in the low light.
I break into the soft weirdness of injera
and dip my fingers into the meat stew,
to celebrate the glory of the kings.
The clear splendor of the serving boy,
his slow blink as of a camel, does not
distract me—here to reap but seduced
by the second beautiful harvest.


Copyright © 2019 by Dante Micheaux. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 14, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem is only slightly inscrutable but full of ‘carnal energy,’ as another poet put it. At the time of its composition, I was traveling, not in my home—hence, ‘this abode.’ What I can say is that the title is a loose translation of someone’s name.”
Dante Micheaux


Dante Micheaux

Dante Micheaux holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from New York University. He is the author of Circus (Indolent Books, 2018), winner of the 2019 Four Quartets Prize, and Amorous Shepherd (Sheep Meadow Press, 2010). Micheaux is the recipient of a prize in poetry from the Vera List Center for Art & Politics, the Oscar Wilde Award, and fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation and The New York Times Foundation. He lives in London.

Date Published: 2019-08-14

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