Ansley Moon was born in India and has since lived on three continents.
Her work has been published or is forthcoming in J Journal, Jersey
Devil Press, Southern Women’s Review, Glass: A Poetry Journal and
various anthologies. She has received a Pushcart Prize nomination and
was chosen as SLS Unified Contest Fiction Semi-Finalist. She lives in
Brooklyn, New York and is a Poetry Editor for The Furnace Review.
Visions from a Brooklyn Window
Sometime between night and morning
we are awaken to sound of gunshot.
You held me down.
“That wasn’t a gun. Go back to sleep”
But I am reminded of him, years ago.
The rifle by his side. I know that nothing
sounds like a life being taken
but what it is.
Sometimes, I am sometimes shaken from sleep.
You always, undisturbed beside me.
My side damp with a feeling that maybe
I could have made what happened
Your snoring, a reminder that reality
exists, only if we believe in it.
My father baits my worm,
piercing the silver hook
through the flesh. Delicately,
killing it. Each time he says
that I, like my brothers,
must learn the art of killing for myself.
Preparing me for the life ahead,
He pushes the throttle down,
slowly, eases out of the cove.
His cigarette suspended
in his left hand. His beer
in the cup holder.
As we leave and charter
into the mainland, the sun
bakes his skin a dark brown.
On the evenings in Georgia,
we would huddle in the front
of the boat as we glided through
the waves. A soft thud as the motor
lifted out and back into the water.
And the gas from our engine showed
our trail of breadcrumbs, but we never
wanted to find our way home.
Year passed. The cove went up
and down, and back up in price.
My brother saving my cousin,
my mom’s Easter lilies, grilling fish,
playing checkers, swimming
in the dark. And all of us.
Washed away with the dock.
Summer was picking blackberries from the vine,
being the smallest and the only girl, reaching
beyond my brothers. Throwing some back
but keeping the ripest for myself, inside
the bowl I made with my shirt. The stain,
the proof of my guilt.
Scratches like border lines
of divided countries, the blood,
small bodies of water.
My legs, a map of all my sins;
the trees I climbed. And almost
being caught. On someone