Five Poems by DeMisty D. Bellinger

Waxing Crescent

These are things I’m sure of:

My eyes, which I imagine are brown, are now all white.

My skin will stay scarred. Blood from barbed plants will always line my legs.

My stomach will forever rumble like low clouds, like rain somewhere west of me.

My stomach will forever feel the weight it carried for months and months again.

My thighs will ache, my hips will ache, my back will ache, my feet—god, my feet.

My mind would wander, question freedom and its worth. (the weight of—

)My desire for the moon to grow completely full and white and happy, round as

Mister and Missus Robinson’s oldest son who took after no one.

The woman who stood next to me, pulled me back a little

The woman was as white as the moon, as the night that fell around us

--I dodged lest the sky hit me

The woman said, with her hat on, crowning her face

In a way that I understood to both expose and hide her beauty

She said, “You’ll have to forgive them.”

I said, “I don’t know that word.”

First Quarter

The moon tonight, two sides of one.

I stare at the white side

and let my eyes blur in tears until

It grows fatter than it is:

The pale pools over between the stars.

I close my eyes and see a full moon:

Round as forgiveness.

I cringe at benevolence towards those I’ve quit,

Enough so to make me open my eyes.

On the other side, there is an absence of whiteness.

The shadowed half of the moon extends silently across the sky

offering a muted possibility of not even forgetting.

I lifted up into that darkness and, unflinching,

I go where I am welcome to entertain

The freedom to hate.

Waxing Gibbous

When the moon was too bright, we stayed in a little shed on someone’s farm. There was one window and it was broken. The glass was almost softened in the edges where space was made. The glass that had undoubtedly fallen whenever it was cracked had been swept up. It was easy to imagine little sharp shards, sheets of brokenness shattered further by work shoes, glass ground into shimmery bits, glass catching moonlight like crystals and expense, like sand again. I brush the toe of my boot against the floor, listened to the dirt slide like scouring soap against wood. I peek out the window and see the moon, its light as white as dried cow dung, its shape wobbling to fullness, and I imagine days I’ll spend here in this little shed.

Full Moon

Her face

eats the light

the light

illuminates her skin

her skin

pocked by disease

and age lines

each contour three

four times.

I see in her

capability of hate

I stop breathing long enough

to understand the sounds of night—

I’ve heard these noises

all my life,

but tonight,

I get to listen.

Birds that are silent when the sun shines;

Bugs whose wings whisk the night air;

Wild dogs baying at the same moon

I cower under.

Carefully, I breathe again and hear the noise

I make join the nocturnal ensemble

I hear, too, her breathing beneath me

wonder what she’d think if

she’d wake up.

If she wakes now,

she will see me hovering

over her, she would hear the animals,

the wind forcing the leaves and the

grass to drum like rain fall. If she wakes

up, she would be disoriented

and here I know I should move away

but I can’t stop marveling over

her face and the light collected there

from the moon. I want to wake

to thank her, but I let her sleep.

Hers is the of face of hurt,

but she is not that, I know.

Like the moon, I watch her;

she guides me.

Waning Gibbous

Looks like a face turning

Slightly away from

Me as I’m still looking—

Still trying to figure out

If this is friend or if

This is foe or if

This is nobody at all to

Be concerned with

And I can reach out

My arm, my

Hand, to touch her elbow

Just the inner part where the

Skin is often described as

Soft as tissue paper but I

Know the skin there is

Softer than that, I know

The skin there is as


As words not even whispered,

Words only breathed

In the darkest of nights under

A sky full of stars

To nobody at all.

Looks like a lie

That was told to me

When I was on the edge

Of dreaming, when I was

Young, when I was in

The arms of someone I love

And trusted, but accepted

The lie, and learned while

Eyes flutter against the

Weight of sleep

The difference between a lie

And fib, and story

Those who lie, I learn

may love me

those who fib, I learn

are trying to trick me

and those who tell stories

are nobody—

Nobody at all.

DeMisty D. Bellinger's writing has appeared in many places, including The Rumpus and Necessary Fiction. Her chapbook, Rubbing Elbows, is available from Finishing Line Press. DeMisty teaches creative writing and women studies at Fitchburg State University. She lives with her husband and twin daughters. DeMisty's online at

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