Emma Moser


absurdity has grace

when you let it blink
in the window
while typing out Chopin,
smiling through the clumsiness
of fingertipped song.

it has grace

when your eyes wade through
the tumbling of notes
and surface into a yellow haze
of moon — which you, in love,
call yours.

the absurd has poetry

when, feeling lyrical,
you and your sounds are warmed
in its furry light, an astral blush
which you deem fit
for this enlightened moment.

it has poetry

even when a flowering laugh
grows in the space where typing was,
just now, before you noticed the string
that holds your star in place — only a lightbulb
in a second-story window.

absurdity has blessing

in the awkwardness of finding starlight
in the neighbor’s furniture

it has blessing

in your sudden, silent prayer before it:
it is still a moon.

apparition / lost

I step inside the pale fog of morning
witnessing it vaporize these skyless streets and sputtering lampposts
into then-ghosts, now-ghosts, when- and where-are-we-ghosts,
it steps inside me, and every inch of Me is cloud



Faith Enough, Adam

do you find it improper —
my praying of foolish prayers
behind the garage?

do you believe it is unlikely
that zeal could flourish, not only on the knees,
but also on one’s back?

that piety can sprout
like a laugh
at the mere sight of clouds
dressed as mountains;

at the furling and unfurling
of their veil-flutter ends
into vigor,
into stacks
of muscle-rounded peaks
against a receding sky?

do you think it irreverent, then,
when, under such unrepentant ruggedness,
the twist in my throat
that feels like tears
also burgeons?

is it a crisis of faith, or a prideful wish
to wear God’s trappings
that takes root in me as I watch
the quiet invasion of His Heaven;

the erasing of His blue
without struggle
in slow-moving explosions?

is it heresy
to view the flattened remains
as a kind of canvas;
to adore the sharply-shadowed billows
as the almighty white-against-white?

I believe the most shameful sin
(and the most glorious)
is in finding one’s prayers unequipped
to give the proper name.

A Child’s Letter to the Sun

dere Sun,

thay tell me yu ar meny-facd and that yello isnt yor only color that yor not as small as yu look or

big ether and thay even say that Sun isnt the name yu wer born with but insted its


an asterisk on black

in a swarm, rubbing light

willy-nilly on phylogenesized green

and that we play ring-arownds but not cus you luv us cus wer just dots to and wer stringd up with

sumthing calld car-tel-lij and yu with sumthing calld grav-a-tee a CRAZY axident but even so

we thot it was luvatferstsite so wen we met we mayd yu


our hallowed, far-off

bloodsucker, hard, or Reverend

Parent, soft, lullabying warmth

and sumtims we gave yu prezents in red or smoky raping paper and sumtims we just thankyud

for the bown-tee-ful feest but after awil of yu not toking we thot mayb yud like sumthing els so

undr yu we pritendid to gro tall and we dresd up ar werds prity so yu cud b


tangerine, nicotine, marigold,

a shape-shifter, litanied

until our metaphors dried

and maydup songs abowt yor orng or wite smile on yor blu or perpl bed and we payntd yor fier

on water and we rot rymes abowt yor loom-en-es-enz but still yu stard kwietly so sumwon sed It

Must B Ded and oh we cryd til we froz and hardund and crakd cus yu wer now


the tangible of our nothingness,

of our littleness, rotting

together in molecular wastes

and we didnt no yu enymor cus yu wer just a dot to and sumthing that dosnt wave insid like we

do i meen like we usto cus sumwon sed We Must B Blank like owterspace and We Must B In-

sig-i-fi-sint like won star nexto meny and so wer empty and small like yu now

enyway thats wat thay tell me.

but i dont no wat ther toking abowt, cus i ges thay forgot that yu still bownse evry day

and melt evry sumer. but i rememer, dont wery. cus i havnt forgoten yor name and i still make

bileev. and to me i promis yull alwyz b





Koev halev, Sanctum somnium

Since mangled-curled girlhood
I knew what winter was
and what spectral grays she twirled about in,
the icy gnaw of February
that only New England feels,
and the definition of a frozen everglade.

And borders away,
the winds through your hair
were Santa Ana storms
an enveloping breath, a consuming sigh
sifting through trees

like your musician’s air in your flute,
buried in your curls
long before me.

We saw different shades of the summer,
as I touched cold in ocean
and you slid

into numinous blues, the entwining,
the nuances of waves.

We shared the taste of salt,
perhaps, and the dry erosion it left behind.

We shared candles.
Mine next to alabaster women,
echoes of a veiled mother,
and under crucifixes
illuminating death.
Yours over silvered branches,
aligned like sentinels
lusting for the dawn.
Our days imbued with incense to fill the corners of our walls.

Until the day

you met blizzards
your face like a boy’s uncovering magic,
a ridiculous beauty,

and I met the heat of breath
in melodies spinning roses,
psalms, and skylarks,

and our hands shared a space to empty the emptiness
and our mouths shared a phrase to turn winters into warmth

and winds into embrace.


2 thoughts on “Emma Moser

  1. Thanks JBMulligan, heading over to your poems shortly! I was sorry to see some of the formatting got off on “Koev” and “Child’s Letter,” but all in all I’m loving this entire issue and can’t wait to read all the other poets.

    Liked by 1 person

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