Catriona Wright

from the Poem of the Year’s 2022 Shortlist: “Luna Moth”

Luna Moth

You slash your way out of the cocoon,
emerge without a mouth or impulse control,
raring to mate. I’ve been there, honey,
just don’t fall for the first male to compliment
your pheromones. Moonlight confuses things,
and you’re new to beauty. Those silky,
absinthe-coloured wings! That elegant tail!
I’d kill to be that lissome again.
I can tell you aren’t listening. Admire
yourself, darling, while you can. At least
one of us is having fun, up for anything,
oblivious. I finish my tall can of lager
and zip myself into the mildewed tent.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll be different.

Nancy Jo Cullen on “Luna Moth” by Catriona Wright

Catriona Wright deftly turns poetic concepts of desire and beauty around with a world-weary speaker advising a beautiful but bumbling, newly emerged luna moth. The compact form of the sonnet and Wright’s use of tight, sharp language highlights the speaker’s cynicism creating a fresh, anti-ode to beauty


Catriona Wright is the author of the poetry collection Table Manners and the short story collection Difficult People. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Walrus, and Magma. [provided for the poem “Luna Moth”]

Skip to content