Kitchen Table MFA (ALL): You said I should write more love poems and

This poem is part of the Kitchen Table MFA, a series that showcases writing communities through interviews and creative writing.

Poem first published in The Fiddlehead.

I said, I’m sorry, but I’ve been thinking about

sloths. Well, actually, the moths that live

on sloths. Nestle into their fur, take the slow,

slow ride through the rain forest. Once a week

the sloth descends to the forest floor. Defecates.

Female moths leap off; lay their eggs on the fresh

feces; jump back on. Their caterpillars nourish

themselves on the fetid feast, metamorphose

into moths, fly up into the canopy to find

their own sloths. They prefer the three-toed

over the two-toed. Eh, who can figure attraction?

The algae-covered sloth fur is the only place

they live. The only home the sloth moths know.

It’s a Darwinian thing, I know, but fidelity

comes to mind. Commitment. Patience.

The world writes love poems all the time.

Read Nancy Reddy’s interview with ALL here. Also check out the work of other ALL members Marilyn Annucci, John McCracken and Jesse Lee Kercheval.

Steve Tomasko

Steve Tomasko has an M.S. in Entomology from UW-Madison, which is probably why insects often creep their way into his poems (even his love poems). He doesn’t think that’s a bad thing. His wife, Jeanie, no longer screams when a dragonfly lands on her. She doesn’t think that’s a bad thing. But they both get creeped out by spiders. Steve’s first book of poetry, and no spiders were harmed is available from Red Bird Chapbooks or find out more information at

Yuu Khoang

Art by Yuu_Khoang from Pixabay