Memento Mori

Maya C. Popa

How much pain

should we knowingly invite—

the gallery says all, and all at once.

Otherwise, why paint or write

if not for ends hidden in plain sight?

I watch you disappear

into the next room knowing,

one day, this room will be my life.

Maya C. Popa is the author of Wound Is the Origin of Wonder and American Faith. She is the Poetry Reviews Editor of Publishers Weekly and teaches poetry at NYU and elsewhere.
Originally published:
April 26, 2023



Life in the Algorithm

It has reshaped culture—but how? Two new books reckon with our digital predicament.
Anna Shechtman

The Night Watch

I first sought sanctuary during the Troubles. I'm still looking for it.
Darran Anderson

Why I Write

The legendary cultural critic on finding a life’s work
Greil Marcus


New perspectives, enduring writing. Join a conversation 200 years in the making. Subscribe to our print journal and receive four beautiful issues per year.