Poem 112 ± September 24, 2015

Kamilah Aisha Moon
Madear Tests Positive

Logger of long hours inside
& outside of home,
Night-gowned lighthouse,
Owner of used breasts, tear-soaked
shoulders & a well-worn lap,

in whose arms
could you have rested,
succumbed without fear
of breaking boughs, hell
or high water to pay
for pleasure, for remembering
you are a woman?

Love dropped you, hard
from over 30 years high.
Who wouldn’t take the first
warm, veined hand offered?
How could you have known he was
a sharecropper of loneliness,
sower of radioactive
sweet nothings like seeds,
bathing you in bittersweet brine
without apology or gratitude
before diving his dwindled self
back into the earth?

You couldn’t, like none of us could
or can know. Yet, as every other crisis
lived through, you remain royal
in faith-rending circumstances
still, still. & always.

An exhale after waiting
for so long shouldn’t cost
this much. When the worst
befalls the best, injustice
stuns us silent as a dying star
weeping alone in the dark sky
to herself.

Queen mother, burn
until your breath
becomes holy smoke.

Aisha_Author_OfficialKamilah Aisha Moon is the author of She Has a Name (Four Way, 2013). work has been featured in Harvard Review, jubilat, The Awl, Poem-A-Day for the Academy of American Poets and elsewhere. A Pushcart Prize winner, she has been selected as a New American Poet presented by the Poetry Society of America, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Audre Lorde Publishing Triangle Award. Kamila holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and has been a recipient of A recipient of fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Prague Summer Writing Institute, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and the Vermont Studio Center. 

This poem is not previously published.