Poetry: Moot by Michelle Reale


A woman isn’t  compost. And yet, she gets turned into the moss, the loamy earth receives her , reluctantly with guilt.  Beneath she lies stiff, her naked skull full of implications, but shining like onyx.  It would be difficult not to discern a theme here. Insert a black diamond as a metaphor.  What else can be said? There is a storehouse of bad intentions with guilty afterthoughts.  With palms up a woman might bring bright flowers to your funeral and decorate your grave with legalese and understatement, but she would warn you first, even if she had to become a banshee to do so.  Hucksters might hawk coarse cotton or satin for burial, but the dead don’t feel a thing of this world.  Wrap the extremities in something that might keep them dry for a while until they are forgotten, because we, after all, are fallible. Mold the lips to represent tolerance and long suffering. Wax and water will always be incompatible, a rare truth we can count on. Ritual makes us apprehensive, so instead we trade in the gestures of commerce, our true habitat. There are excuses enough to fill a casket of pure gold, but oh the price it would fetch. She might have been a gifted storyteller, a songbird yet to come into her own, but in so many instances, we can never really know for sure.

Michelle Reale is the author of several poetry collections, including Season of Subtraction (Bordighera Press, 2019) and Blood Memory (Idea Press) and from Alien Buddha Press is her prose poem collection, In the Year of Hurricane Agnes. She is the Founding and Managing Editor for both OVUNQUE SIAMO: New Italian-American Writing and The Red Fern Review.