a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
You woke me up so I could see
my first lunar eclipse. You didn’t know
your daughter was a sleepwalker.
Come morning, I didn’t remember,
so you told me about it like a chapter
in my story books. You said I liked it.
I imagined the moon like a mosquito
bite, and your guiding hand pointed
up at the warm night sky. Years later,
my period came and stayed for weeks
at a time, a loss so heavy and bright,
it leeched the sun from my skin.
Dad took out our bathroom trash,
bag whisked up like a dirty ghost.
You took me aside and taught me
how to wrap the tampons with paper,
so he won’t see how our bodies bleed
and survive, how we conjure
constellations from blackred galaxies.
Nobody wants to see that, you said,
like sleepwalking. Like your mother
showed you this eclipse before.
M. Brett Gaffney is a queer poet and artist living in Salt Lake City, Utah with her family and their spoiled puggle, Ava. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and her work has appeared in Apex Magazine, Moon City Review, Zone 3, South Dakota Review, Devilfish Review, and Rust+Moth, among other publications. Her chapbook Feeding the Dead (Porkbelly Press) was nominated for a 2019 Elgin Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association.