Michelle Bittings Poems



More Fields and Full Moon




Of the child in the casket, of the halo of light

above the water glass next to the sickbed,

and of the makeup we apply on the face

of the dead, and on their words and their deeds,

when this weight of time is never so palpable,

as when the parents in the backyard cooking food

want nothing, and the hound chained to the tree

wants everything. Like the helicopter, despite

its heavy-hearted growl, and despite

its dragonfly’s indifference, wants everything.


Of the handprint on the rain-washed window,

of the heart, its quiver, its consumption, its secrets

that destroy us, of the flesh, its pitiable

wants, its everything, it is everything

until it isn’t. When light floods forth and recedes.


Of the body, so prosperous and preposterous,

of the bones, so necessary they remain

timeless, of the seed and of the egg, of blood

illuminated through stained-glass of the skin,

sheathing the body. Always, we return

to the body. Always, the body.

From water and from sand, and from the wind

where things arrive and depart, and from the stars,

their charming songs of dying,

their inimitable truths and lies.


That dance, that strut. Matador around the bovine,

relief pitcher circles the mound. That trap,

that rescue. My father cleaning the pregnant cutthroat.

My mother holding glow bugs in her hands. 

That cigar parlor where the bears’ heads hung.


And of love, more lipstick and more eye shadow

for the dead, more language—yes arbitrary words

and phrases that convey the feelings more unspeakably,

and the ideas etch themselves

into the rocky magnitude of the mind.

Of the dead, more chains

and more burial; more songs without reason.

More names with no meaning;

more fields and full moon. 





Cody Todd is the author of Graffiti Signatures (2013, Main Street Rag) & the chapbooks, Canvas of Ash (Forthcoming, Tebot Bach) & To Frankenstein, My Father (2007, Proem Press). His poems have appeared in the Gettysburg Review, Salt Hill, The Florida Review, & The Literary Review among other journals. He is also the Managing Editor & co-creator of the online literary journal, The Offending Adam (www.theoffendingadam.com).






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