Why I Became a Luna Moth & Other Poetry by Gabrielle Langley

Carpe Diem Series

Enter into this May with the exuberant poetry of Gabrielle Langley! Her words hold a symbolic sense of self while observing the happenings of both good and bad. Take delight in her work below!

My Favorite Line: “I make it my business to glow in the dark.”

Why I Became a Luna Moth

I became a Luna moth
because I often feel the urge
to burst from an exoskeleton
wearing nothing
except a white fur corset
and green powdered wings.
With only seven days to live,
and a wingspan of 114 millimeters,
I make it my business to glow in the dark.
I dance on sugared persimmons,
release volatile sex pheromones,
throw them far into the night.
It makes perfect sense to mate
with the first male who answers my call,
to hide three-hundred eggs on the undersides
of wet leaves, to navigate
by shifting patterns of starlight.
This is my DNA.
I master the art of moon-white camouflage.
I thwart the echolocation of predator bats.
I paint two false eyes on the back of my wings.
This always confuses my enemies.


Every flapper was a secret butterfly
spinning starlight from tin cans. I am a monarch

ruling a kingdom of cocktails and sequins. Bouquets of
long-stemmed roses throw themselves into my arms, daily.

Bottles of French champagne beg me for kisses!
Watch me paint rubies on my lips and fingers. Help me

find my velvet diary, the one with the heart-shaped lock.
Let’s melt the key. Do you know my husband,

the famous novelist? He steals things from me,
types them into his own books, signs his name.

He cuts my love letters into thin strips, pastes them
into his own stories, chides me for being upset.

Every man I ever knew is trying to fix me. “A Gin Sling, please.”
My husband is drunk all the time now.

We drive all over Europe in a Bugatti, tassels on the seat covers.
I throw tantrums for fun, whenever I get bored.

He has me committed to the nervous hospital.
I smuggle in my dancing slippers, my cigarettes, and matches.

The orderlies watch me dance the Charleston.
I dance until my feet catch fire

and then I dance with the flames. I dance
until the entire hospital burns.


Gabrielle Langley’s first book of poetry, Azaleas on Fire, was released in 2019. Shehas wonthe Lorene Pouncey Award, Houston Poetry Fest’s Jury Prize, and the Vivian Nellis Memorial Prize. With work appearing in a variety of literary journals, and three Pushcart prize nominations, Ms. Langley was also a spearhead and co-editor for the anthology Red Sky: Poetry on the global epidemic of violence against women (Sable Books – 2016). Additional information about this poet can be found at www.gabriellelangley.com.

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