Anna Maria Hong

Solstice, Seven Questions (Private/Public) & A Fable
January 17, 2021 Hong Anna Maria


blood on a slide–thumbprint in a pool–
plasma washed across blue sky–lotus
chant sutra–blood above the limen–jewel
in the beak of the great green heron–notice


the breath breathing you–room for a finger
–room for a nail to unhinge the South-West
border–orange blossoms crowd-sourcing
the sun–red stars in the mind’s softest





1. Where is symmetry found in nature?
A dandelion puff, a goose’s foot, the lilting flight of the great blue heron

2. What is the tenor of your aloneness today?
Enervation after deep slumber spiked with florid lime

3. Which memories looped your dreams last night?
My dog bolting toward a street whose traffic I could not see & the clean
nesting lids of yogurt cups

4. Which question cannot be answered?
Is she dead or dying? Does she lie in state?

5. Why the morning walk?
Sometimes a beast / soaring from the clearing

6. Why an evening walk?
For the slant of sun on wind on leaves, the telegraphic light,
the small renunciations

7. Which question remains a question?
The die-cut, diving flight of starlings, their tapered, tear-shaped wings



Once, not long ago, at the beginning of the sequester, I would see
two geese always together, one slightly larger, on the great lawn in
the evenings, by the silver pond in the mornings, honking at the
dog, pooping, eating grass, kind of rude and kind of dumb. I
thought they had flown North, as they disappeared for about a
week. Then, I saw one standing serenely on a dung-covered bench,
looking across the pond. My first thought was there you are and
gross. Then, I saw that it was standing on one leg, not honking, not
moving, bearing its thick, round weight without its mate, without

Anna Maria Hong is the author of three recent books: Age of Glass, winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award, the novella H & G, and Fablesque, winner of Tupelo Press’s Berkshire Prize. A former Bunting Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, she has poetry and fiction published and forthcoming in The Nation, The Iowa Review, Pleiades, Poetry, Ecotone, Colorado Review, Shenandoah, jubilat, Poetry Daily, and The Best American Poetry. She is an Assistant Professor at Mount Holyoke College.