Poet Grow-Op - Sprint 2016

Emily Mitamura

Emily Mitamura is a senior at Vassar College studying political science, Jewish studies, the secret things people hide in archives, and blueprints of (hopefully) successful passage to the real world (she'll be graduating and starting grad school in just a few months). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lingerpost and Black Heart Magazine but she's very new to this game. 


In the Summer Moths


In the summer moths' skinny hearts

beat bread and butter frenzy,

lost and lovesick and burning

to breathe free, (of) you

I know have heard of the loosely constructed petticoats

of penny-loader girls 

who don't have lunch money

just luck.


In the summer moths

a lady dips her head and all their nerves sing quick as in the wind,

that hot instant concoction

of silt and sweet sweat and the last exhalation you ever think you heard

coming from the Spanish moss 

in the nighttime.


In the summer moths the air sips as well as sighs.

Your breath is thinner, more like gold leaf than thick cream chowder and wool

so they eat you up

lay their babies and cry and cry 

and youths tangle themselves with the tree bark, hide in the sound, and hope they'll never be asked to go home.


In the summer moths, a warning slumps unfed

and under-fettered: don't throw bottles out of windows or eat fairy cakes

never do all that it I takes 

to hold your tongue –


and don’t kid yourself,

you cannot remain unconsumed.





[1] we were some born to walk

we say, but still somehow

we have other needs

and so tend to


out of rooted things

constructed non-sense

to keep pace

with our blood

I inherited my mother’s

shaven toes

but my brother

could have been a dancer

I’m sure – and my sisters


it all still may come

to what is generally considered

a fault of style

posed tautology

many feet

and great distance

from home