Ned Balbo

Ned Balbo’s newest books are Three Nights of the Perseids, winner of the Richard Wilbur Award, and The Cylburn Touch-Me-Nots, winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize, both published in 2019. A previous book, The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems, was awarded the Poets’ Prize and the Donald Justice Prize. He is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowship and is married to poet-essayist Jane Satterfield.

A Year Without Sweethearts

After 116 years as America’s confectionery currency of affection, Sweethearts (love u) are dead . . . [Their] maker, the New England Confectionery Company . . . was sold in a bankruptcy auction in May.
—the Washington Post, February 8, 2019

Sweethearts, you’re lost to bankruptcy,
gone with the flavors we once loved—
let’s kiss    my pet    say yes    love bug
Concrete hearts, seductive candy,

Sea Star

In water cobalt-blue a sea star melts, / its five rays torn away to join the silt’s / suspension, sand, and clay, / a spent core all that’s left. . . .