like moon rose

by Dominick Knowles

half moon rising like a like moon rose,
dusk cooling a clamshell of dust
that settles around the earth
& the dusted earth flinches.

see the beveled medford moon
risen like a dish of yellowed bone,
or a piece of amber come loose from the sky.

trace its beams past the Maoists
who shiver cooking beans for the shivering poor,
the stalks of traffic signs detonating light,
past the gorgeous chemical stench of car wash mist,
down to the gurgling, cop-laden bowels of I-95,

& upward, careening along its endless highway spine
to new jersey, where cicadas shake
their tambourines in the maple trees,

& i’m cleaning my grandfather’s eyeglasses on my shirt,
shaving him, scything the tines of his chin
with a razor blade.

his toes are baby carrots, swollen
with the fluids that will choke him
to death. then they choke him to death.

& I want to kiss his coffin, to kiss his coffin,
his coughing a kiss that told me to grow
majestic and old, with skin like wet sandpaper
folded over my shoulderbones

patient & weathering loneliness as place,
whether loneliness was a place
or an accident of consciousness

until the half moon rises like a like moon rose,
the sky aching after purple acid snow,
& the tambourines shake, though the maple trees froze.

Dominick Knowles is a queer poet and Ph.D. student in English at Brandeis University. Their areas of study include modernist literature, Marxist critique, and the poetry of the radical Left. Their essays have appeared in Viewpoint Magazine & Modernism/modernity Print Plus; their poems have appeared in several independent publications.

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