Tonight Nobody Goes to Bed Hungry
The way he tells it, doctor meant soldier
stocked on supplies. This is dinner on the porch
again. Melons from the field.We call it a diet
when food comes to this. Truth is we lose
weight. Truth in the way his spine accepts
the lean. It starts with the give of scar tissue,
shrapnel shaped, in his lower back,
and the lift of hips slowly from the lawn chair
set underneath a fresh insect bulb, its glow
a jaundice on the cantaloupe rinds, his grunt
and the internal network of pops
before his body locks and is upward. No,
not the cane yet, and he repeats his mantra—
tonight nobody goes to bed hungry—
by touching an ear to the porch screen,
opening himself to the metal rain
of wings and beetle pincers thrumming
their bodies against the tin mesh, safe
in their carapace, blindness, and shells
black and no thicker than a .45 casing,
the kind without tracers—loud but unseen.
David Antonio Moody is a writing instructor at Arizona State University and also serves as production editor for the Cortland Review. He has edited for Southeast Review, Juked and Saw Palm. His poetry has appeared in Spillway, Streetlight, Eleven Eleven, Artful Dodge, The Carolina Quarterly and elsewhere. Recipient of a 2014 AWP Intro Journals Award, David studied creative writing at Florida State University where he performed in the Jack Haskin Flying High Circus.
Both "Tonight Nobody Goes to Bed Hungry" and "Despite that Syzmborska Never Danced with My Father" were chosen as finalists for the 2015 Peseroff Prize. In “Tonight Nobody Goes to Bed Hungry” judge Jill McDonough admired “how the body rises up from the page and becomes real, felt, and heard." In “Despite that Syzmborska Never Danced with My Father,” judge Jill McDonough admired "the smart attention to ankles and M-1s, and knowing lines like 'I've learned to distrust the end of this poem.'"