I walk the ocean
its total expanse
over every wave and riptide
oil platform and sunken ship
choked gull and diving whale
filled with silver dagger moonlight
I worship the moon________________________
cyclical spin pulling oceans toward me
weaving my reflection through sand
tacit voice in the shell
the moon, my body________________________
one day will decompose
feed ground deeper than the ocean
once Jesus waved his hands over sick bodies
power from his diamond heart admitted
souls to reform, return this time healthy
not quite yet— the soul not entirely gone
twice Jesus waved his hands over dead bodies
and the bodies became alive
not only alive, but same again
I can believe____________________________
here he ripped souls from heaven
nutrients from ground
I kneel with my hands over her body
first, I move my hands slowly
glide above any heat she could offer
to root warmth back into her through palms
I move my hands faster waving my
hands like a fool
cutting the air into a million pieces
keeping at this for
complete moon cycles
rings on trees and satellite tails
waving like a lunatic
like plucking a zither in crescendo
until plastic rots
I fall into the ocean
drown as salt barnacles to my lungs
After three full moons, my grandfather
pulls from his Bible the pink, laminated bookmark of her obituary.
Compares its hues to his deep purple wine
and the wine to the sugarcane overgrowth in the yard.
He takes me outside to show me the moon.
Again, it is waning.
He cups my hair
like folding water and kisses it.
In his yard he is a pagan.
He sets down a stone kettle
under the moonlit tatters of the fig tree.
Buries the stone’s cold feet in the crabgrass
to keep as a marker for the coming iron fire pit.
Once the penumbra passes
he will hold a fire gallery—
burn her notes, her journals,
burn everything she ever, even once, touched.
There, he says, the alignment is perfect
to burst open the Aries fire inside
the sugarcane stalks when the moon rays hit.
Sweet smoke canoeing
toward my drunken grandfather’s nostrils.
His mountain eyes in the pleats of fire.
The sugarcane goddess wafts
on sweet smoke, the wife
when she dies, she suffocated. His wife,
her blood was
is, saturated sugar
in red wine, sugar.
Once he held a holy chapel in his hands
the steeple, open the doors
the perfect alignment of fingerprints and palm lines
to follow a heart’s center into the deep dirt.
At least here, he yells, the moon comes home to me.
Two more glasses of wine, and I will pray.
Moon Spit first appeared in Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective, established in 2013 as a group of storytellers, artists, and activists committed to promoting social change through the written and performing arts.