Moon by Cassandra Atherton

The third night, we drink too much tequila and you sleep on the edge of my hair until noon; your body curled around me like a single, right parenthesis. I feel your breath on the rounded curve of my shoulder; respiration like a steady metronome. This is my happiest hour: three quarters of a king size bed behind us, my toes a series of ellipses under the sheet.

I feel my mistake in the cold tap of invisible fingers down my back. A beating of words on bone and the slip of invisible breath in cold air. I imagine you fishing in the moonlight. More owl than pussycat. More Hemingway than Huck Finn. The moon sets in a clumsy enjambment of sky and sea. Green fish with spangled scales leap at your feet. Their dying is a thumping of tails.

Cassandra Atherton is an award winning prose poet and scholar of prose poetry. She co-wrote Prose Poetry: An Introduction for Princeton UP (forthcoming) and was invited to edit Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry for Melbourne UP (2020).

Photo by Noah Silliman

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