National Poetry Month Day 8: Mai Der Vang






Lark me from this weathering
Into the petrichor after a hailstorm.

There is symmetry in the water
Like I have never seen, peel of

Hydrangea like I have never felt,
Haloes sharpened from the taste

Of hexagons. Next to your eyes
In the marrow of this fog into each

Particle of our outcome, I grieve
For the countries flaming in our

Lungs after decades of air forsaken.
I don’t want to leave these

Compilations of night, onesome
Even with you as of rain fitted for

Lips undulating toward a smile.
Now this time it loved back, a fruited

Transmuting of my courage into
Smoke and then I heard it to be you:

The sun-swallowed howl of your
Cobra’s heart owning its kingdom.


Photograph of Mai Der Vang © Andre Yang.

Mai Der Vang is the author of Afterland (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the 2016 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. The recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship, her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, Tin House, and the American Poetry Review, among other journals and anthologies. Commencing Fall 2019, Mai Der will serve in the Creative Writing MFA faculty at Fresno State. More from this author →