Feb 162013

by Kent Monroe


This moon is so bright

I think I shall stand in the snow tonight,

in the charcoal shadow of the sugar maple,

and read out loud from Ecclesiastes

like some goddamn delirious prophet to the insects

curled tight inside the tree bark,

to the owls folded into their wings against the wind,

stoic beneath the stars’ implacable retreat.

The coyotes shall come to me,

moved by the words of the troubled king,

and by the passion of my scorched voice,

the beautiful, bitter musical sincerity of my oratory,

how I shake the book in the air

with my righteous wrinkled hand,

and cry out as I let it fall:

I am a ghost, I am a ghost–

but for this desire for love, I should not exist,

and the coyotes shall paw at the snow,

lick the black ground and howl

as their holy ghost drifts back to the warm room,

to the seven golden candles, the four cats, the three dogs,

the blank face in the cracked mirror.