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When I first saw James Fenton read onstage, I found myself, midway through this poem, staring at his head with my jaw set and my mouth moronically ajar. I didn’t have a mirror, but if I try to imagine my face, I think of footage I saw, once, of confused but amenable teenagers watching Hendrix for the first time from a studio audience.
This poem fills my mouth with everything I crave—beauty, bread and stillness. “Moss Lake” by Maureen N. McLane. Selected by Nora Barlow.
When I was a kid, my family used to go on summer vacations to Jamaica. The only things left from those trips are sensory memories, but when I read this poem, I imagine myself sitting with my parents and brother at another table at The Cruise Inn watching this couple end their affair.