Thirteen Weeks Learning the scent of death took a dream, the smell of a girl with long waves of hair and a rope necklace strung from the rafters it took her scent in bloom across the room, pushed out against the windows stretched deep into the emptiness beneath her feet a smell with a punch to the gut, a taste distinct to those left behind this indication that a shift has occurred a passing vacancy of flesh as the body tries to prepare its mind— for that second knowing, the recognition that comes three mornings later when the scent is now gleaned rising out of the bay between her legs when the doctor is called and the would-be grandmother drives across the desert to hold her daughter's hand when the small truth is confirmed the lost heartbeat and future becoming instead an odor a little mass of decay to be scraped and spooned away before it can evolve into bad medicine— a larger death then a body can absorb Brooding She’s glued to the nest again, rosette of red feathers fluffed out like a puffer fish, round ginger dahlia splayed out on the yellow straw. Another Missy spinning gold out of patience. She could sit there for eternity, one more sleeper focused on the future. She chuffs and chortles, whimpers a lullaby she’s been singing since the beginning of time. In my hands she is hot. Soon I will take her to the trough where she will stand in the basin, coaxed quiet, belly sunk and cooling in the calm water. All week a rooster crows from afar and I wonder if she dreams, imagines his presence, there at her back, holding her down. Or is it only the chicks she dreams of, small gems of fire beneath her—half dragon, half moon—this instinct towards the holy, the prescience of a miracle, her longing to be cracked open, her body waiting, waiting. Having Fallen Into The Ocean of Another World we are pregnant the three of us swimming upright seahorses cresting each swell heads and swollen breasts lifting high out of the water round bellies rising on each wave the water black with stars it will never matter if sharks circle at our legs if our feet ever reach solid ground we are swimming holding hands all night the water cut thick with stars the black soup of the universe running away with everything we race the stellar skies who knows what life we carry hair blotting out the heavens our mouths opening to the quiet of small fish, fragments of light earth the memory of turquoise Song of Creation for god so loved the world and god’s heart stirred spiraling galaxies arms splaying across the universe like petals like starfish fingers brushing light painting the cosmos of her Body until it became solid known kissed held swayed waltzed beloved conceived a belly the size of Jupiter and the world did prosper and green the world did sing for the world god so loved doors open and stepping forth some unnamed winged creature revels in the light of melody and god hearing glories in the Song and wonders if it is her own if she can recognize the notes fragments of a verse the smallest trill rising from within ready to give birth ready to remember to step into skin to drum the bones into brightness body standing on its own two feet for god the world so loved and there came a time when grace raced the greed of the world twins rushing the finish line scarves flapping in the wind aeon after aeon lost in the journey the quest the becoming the yearning to be bigger humanity with its face pressed against the porthole looking for stars hungry for shore and all along there were seeds water a plot of land the returning sun the red of apple wild asparagus deer in the field for loved the world the white cup of the hellebore the tapestry of the reef yellow flag sunshine edging the pond god amongst the living with her hands in the dirt head in the stars eyes on the cabbage moth the praying mantis the last of the honeybees sunflowers with heads bowed over the garden a field of corn a plateful of wonder a full belly for loved the god she said it is good she said you are the one she said this sprawled across the continents as she lit up the cities as she whispered the names of her favorite places what mountains what rivers what oceans places ethereal as a dream distant as heaven she taught Blues in a flat on B Street she cried for every tear every war aged feet swelling ankles round as melons the concrete tsunamis so loved the world windows never imagined the chant of traffic phantom of what we once were that longing that longing that knows another way the Outro always unreachable the Chorus now cliched stuck a repetitive fingerprint of what once was now a shackle a harness a fallacy indifferent to the rumble crossing her path bowed to the soil so loved the god bowed to the fist of smoke first one thank you and then another as if the words mattered knee deep in ashes as if words could stream backwards like a river flowing to its source like water lifting rising back into the clouds words stretched back to eternity back to the very beginning that first opening that first wide dawn of time
About the Author:
Tara Moghadam’s is a writer currently residing in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. Her work has appeared in The Southern Poetry Review, Driftwood, Waterstone, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, One Room Over, was the winner of The Edda Poetry Chapbook Prize for Women. In better years, she has taught creative writing in university, schools, and community programs both in the Mid-West and in the Pacific Northwest.