Bio Note: I live in a light-filled condo in a neighborhood full of condos in Los Angeles County. I'd rather be somewhere less urban, but it's surprising how much wildlife you can see even on city walks. My first chapbook, Keeping Still, is a collection of chaparral poems, and my second chapbook, It Isn't That They Mean to Kill You, is a collection of desert poems.
Maybe the hours of waiting for the poem are the poem itself. Watching light increase while the mind takes flight to past and future, rarely fastens on the now. Maybe the poem waits in the mind's loose moorings, in the pull and push of currents testing frayed rope. Morning warmth makes steam ripple from bare boards soaked with rain, delicate overhead ocean dispersing in an hour under efficient sun. Maybe the act of writing down the poem destroys it, like Audubon with his rifle bagging birds to draw. Maybe if forewarned the poem would flee. Maybe it always does, changing form rather than dying, forever one mutating heartbeat further on.
Originally published in Riverwind
It isn’t that they mean to kill you. They just want honey from your veins. A light kiss on the lips, the face, the neck while you lie sleeping, a long drink and they’re off, leaving only flecks of shit that could cause swelling, fever, death. Sometimes they ride inside on your best friend, sometimes they find you in the desert where you go to quiet down. They’ll help. Then fly away like dreams on silent wings.
Originally published in The Broome Review
©2021 Penelope Moffet
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