Appetite

By DAN ALBERGOTTI

Emerging from her cocoon without a mouth,
the luna moth climbs onto a stem to unfurl
and dry her wings. She’ll find a mate tonight.

There will be no kiss. There will be no taste.
There will be no speech or song. After midnight
the still, silent couple will join like drops of rain.

She’ll go her way, and he’ll go his, and there
will be no need. Nothing sharp or savory, nothing
bland or sweet. She’ll lay two hundred eggs.

Then a final rest on a barn door’s hinge, staring
at the lightbulb’s perfect yolk. And nothing
like hunger, though a hunger’s what we feel.

 

 

Dan Albergotti is the author of The Boatloads, Millennial Teeth, and Of Air and Earth. His poems have appeared in 32 Poems, The Cincinnati Review, Crazyhorse, Five Points, The Southern Review, The Best American Poetry, and The Pushcart Prize, as well as other journals and anthologies. He was the Amy Clampitt House Fellow in the fall of 2020 and is a professor of English at Coastal Carolina University.

[Purchase Issue 22 here.] 

Appetite

Related Posts

A portrait of the author, Kathleen Heil, in black and white.

Geist

KATHLEEN HEIL
Then the woman from Spain said, No, I mean “soul”... and I said, “Geist,” and the woman from Seoul said, Isn’t the word in German “Seele,” and I said yes, then wondered why I said “Geist” and not “Seele,” what it was that compelled me to translate the word, as it were, “wrong.”

Jane Satterfield headshot next to issue 23

Podcast: Jane Satterfield on “Letter to Emily Brontë”

JANE SATTERFIELD
I think of letters as a form that allows you to have a kind of chatty domestic conversation that also launches out toward larger public issues. It’s a form that allows the writer to almost fall into secrets that they can reveal. It’s interesting in that way; it’s both relaxed and urgent.

lies schwabe headshot next to cover of issue 23

Podcast: Liesl Schwabe on “The Marching Bands of Mahatma Gandhi Road”

LIESL SCHWABE
Kolkata is a place that you feel in all of your senses. Visually there’s a lot happening, the traffic is intense, the honking is almost nonstop. It’s hard to have a conversation on the street. The heat is intense. I knew that I wanted to start the essay with how saturated this stretch of the city is, with sounds and heat and so much happening.