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Friday Feature: Ariel Moniz

Ariel K. Moniz (she/her) is a queer Black poetess, artist, and Hawaii local currently living abroad. She is the winner of the 2016 Droste Poetry Award and a Best of the Net nominee. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, where she once served as the editor-in-chief of Kanilehua Art & Literary Magazine. Her writing has found homes with Archetype: A Literary Journal, Bright Flash Literary Review, The Centifictionist, and Sunday Mornings at the River Press, among others. She currently serves as an editor and co-founder of The Hyacinth Review. Her first poetry chapbook, titled Nostos Algos, is being published through Ethel Zine and Micro-Press in Autumn of 2023. Follow her on her website and on Instagram and Twitter.

The Departure of the Daffodils

Daffodils are wilting in the window.

There is a needling melancholy

in remembering when we picked them

from the edge of the wood,

little blessings that we thieved away

from their season, remorseless.

Does that make us monsters?

How easy, how casual it is to be cruel.

I do not dream of the flowers

and their soft ooze, thimble of liquid,

tears maybe, the fragile snap of their stems,

their almost silent, sacrificial goodbye

to their late winter roots.

I heard it, the cry of waiting so long

but smiled as you handed me

the buttery yellow corpses, soft

and delicate as babies,

as we fled the crime

at the leisurely pace of lovemaking.

It’s been seven days, they are wilting now

severed oracles of Spring

and I am still thinking not so much

of seasons or the songs of roots,

as of goodbyes.


Torch Literary Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit established to publish and promote creative writing by Black women. We publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers alike. Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and retreats. Help Torch support Black women writers by donating today.


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