"Late in the Day" by Makensi Ceriani

The sky moves with a murder and charm,

all birds black at this distance from where

I lay in the dirt; the body breaks itself

with taut calves weak spine long neck.

Heavy. Sometimes I just need to suspend

the length of me, drop breaths into a hushed

keen and let my weight distribute equally

like February’s moon, full in shape but empty.

Blood stills like resin, and I refuse to blink.

Butterflies, or bees—whatever small

fluttered thing comes over me—look

for tears only to dust pollen on my dry cheeks.

Night no small medicine as the hunger moon

rises, and I pretend the pain has all but suffused

throughout my body. I am cold enough

now, same weight enough now, to crawl

forward and bring myself up from the ground

as if I didn’t just witness what death does.

Makensi Ceriani received an MA in English from the Pennsylvania State University, and she is currently an MFA candidate at Virginia Tech. Her work has appeared most recently at Burning House Press.