Project Description

Selenomancy Looking Southward

          divination by the observation of the phases and appearances of the moon

At the old house we mulch grey pachysandra & peony—a tremble of sticks, stasis,
sandalwood cinder. At his burial’s many places we ask where
          we would find him, how
                              we would remember his name.

Green frost under the sun as we enter the aborted orchard. Spared bees stifle
a circadian heat—afterlife’s adaptation, or a passive threat. He hid
          above the pasture. Stood, in fact, open, in the presence of his lover; while

in the next century the room filled with brine and we cleared the table. I hold then
what I never loved—shadow grass lodged
          in the lung, nightingale’s spate noon. But we didn’t read
                              April’s breath within our own.

I stood within sound’s aura and watched an aster’s pale architecture exit fern’s
undergrowth. Spindrift voices. Kestrel’s counsel
          followed us
                    like firebombs through the grove.

Maureen Alsop

Maureen Alsop, Ph.D., is the author of Later, Knives & Trees (Negative Capability Press 2014); Mirror Inside Coffin (WordTech Communications 2015); Mantic (Augury Books 2013); Apparition Wren (Main Street Rag 2007); and several chapbooks. She is the winner of the Tony Quagliano International Poetry Award through the Hawaii Council for the Humanities, Harpur Palate’s Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry and The Bitter Oleander’s Frances Locke Memorial Poetry Award. Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize on six occasions, and have appeared in various journals including The Laurel Review, AGNI, Blackbird, Tampa Review, Action Yes, Drunken Boat, and The Kenyon Review. Collaborative poems with poet, Joshua Gottlieb Miller have recently appeared on Verse Daily. Her translations of the poetry of Juana de Ibarbourou (Uruguay, 1892-1979) and Mario Domínguez Parra are available through Poetry Salzburg Review. She teaches online with the Poetry Barn. This poem owes thanks to Brenda Hammack.