When the Moon Tells Us of Losses
Angie Crea O'Neal

When the Moon Tells Us of Losses

Out of the corner of my eye, I think it's a small envelope
caught in an upturn of wind. The fabled luna moth looks
wan and paper thin, mantle of night lost like a tarp unmoored
by driving rain. Last hours of fast living. On the side of my
ramshackle shed in the half-glow of late day, shadows
play. Sumac leaves flash back against the blank screen.
They dance like excess digits on a ledger, opposing the
calculating logic of nature that takes what it wishes—
intractable as late fees, hollow as an empty mailbox. I use
the unpaid bill on the kitchen table as a stretcher, its sturdy
edge carries her to an ocean of open grasses.

A buoy marks the spot where she last played when she went
under, off the shore of a Texas bay, the little girl last summer.
Taken to dark waters by tidal currents as the numbers descend
to zero. I look west. The cows in the pasture across from the
seawall maintain their muted graze, like stranded sailboats
silent under a complicit sky.

Angie Crea O'Neal

holds the Joan Alden Speidel Chair in English at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia, where she lives with her two daughters. Her poems have recently appeared in San Pedro River Review and Kentucky Review.