Look at the Moon’s Shards by Amy Nocton

We should not remember how the full moon
broke into so many pieces
as she extended herself over the water.

Nor should we recall lands of lemon
trees and ruins more distant
than the cracked blue door in the photograph,

the contours of the river’s bottom,
the summer boats beached at low tide,
the grey heron patiently at watch.

My voice sounds coarse among the others,
accented tongue, blue claw against sea rock foam.
A fox slinks through night. I follow.

There I move to bring stone into frame.
Chase disparate images from sight,
but not from mind. In another time,

DaVinci mapped the human body in a compass.
We stole kisses in his streets.
Constructed histories of our own.

Look: the moon’s shards
lacerating the water’s surface shimmer.
Know: this river of memories will not be dammed.

Autobiography Amy Nocton

She says,
“We are the writers of ourselves”

before wrapping herself in the scent
of lemon grass and vinyl.

She reminds you
that everything is not

absolute.
In such perishing beginnings,

we learn that the use of language
is never simply the creation

of intent, passion and imagery.
Language is a tool,

for the transfer
of shadows in our stories.

Mine is a patch
of snow in the woods,

the whisper of spring
flowing deep beneath

the slowly melting ice.
Some trust their excuses

and forget that love
is inclusive

not indulgent. And so,
we compromise

in our love
and sometimes fall silent.

She quips, “Silence
does not always mean quit.”

She means, “They cannot break
our sun, our moon.”

Little Yellow Bird

I sat down
next to him
on an outdoor bench.

Weathered face,
he turned,
amused by my appearance.
A chance to share a story
with a blue-eyed ingénue.

He rolled
his morning smoke
and thought aloud,

“It’s a beautiful day,
and the coffee is still warm.”
We watched
the tide of locals surging to and fro.

He paused. Sipped from his
cracked white mug.

“Do you know Klimt?”

Once I surprised
a goldfinch
sitting on a sunflower.

The little yellow bird
bounced
along a summer’s
daybreak light.

And the lambent glow
of resplendent feathers
left the air
shimmering
in their wake.

Knit the Stars for Sanctuary

Please,
blind viewer,
hold this silence.

Take this tenderness,
this untethered, heart-rooted
ache,

and help me.

Please,
unhearing witness,
heed a visionary

courage. Offer a hollow
tender space
where

I can
knit the stars
for sanctuary.

Honor This

For thinking the injured
sparrow was too much like your tender
child and for hurting
for the connection

drawn, I insist
it is o.k. and not the result
of the too hot Salamancan
sun searing your memory

and your heart. For wishing
it were you offering its gaping
beak a sip of healing water,
and not some sidewalk stranger

who got there first, I
tell you, you need
not be the one to always
set out to rescue

those in need. For feeling
such sorrow that you wept
at your desk for the fragility
of life lost,

that you were distracted
from the meeting
and could only remember
echoes of children’s laughter, songs

and stories, I remind
you, no one expects
to lose someone so young,
and it is human

to mourn that which
we have loved, even
from a distance, even
for so brief

a time. For cursing
a world
which has served you
wave after wave after wave
after wave

of mourning, a tide
of tumult and lonely
tears, I encourage
you

be gentle
with yourself
and with others. I
wish

for you
to find power, strength,
forgiveness, and beauty
in the love,

lessons, experiences,
and friendships
collectively shared. I
ask of you:

look how the children
pray, look how the youth
intuit how to best
observe

their fallen friend, how
they weep for one whose wings
were clipped too soon, one
they will always carry

cupped in their hands,
or treasured
as something always blooming
in their soul. I say to you:

honor this,
hold this,
feel this

Biography
Amy Nocton has taught high school Spanish and/or Italian for twenty-six years. She is currently employed by E.O. Smith High School in Mansfield, CT. She also teaches composition for the non-native speaker as an adjunct at the University of Connecticut. She lives with her family off a dirt road in the land trust protected forest surrounded by great neighbors, fox, coyote, bobcat, deer, and other woodland creatures. She has been previously published in Inti,: Revista de literatura hispánica, The Bookends Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Ethel Zine, Moonchild Magazine, Down in the Dirt, The Pangolin Press and by the Connecticut Writing Project at the University of Connecticut.

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