Ellene Glenn Moore

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Seven Ghosts

            Siasconset, Massachusetts


From the roof we watch for nothing in particular—waves, perhaps, or bees looming from one collection of blooms to another. The wind shudders the grey shingles until all we can hear is the sky straining to make an impression on us. And then what happens—or, rather—how is it we came to this.


Rotary: recursion, the dry pump, cobblestones. Over and over I let go of the handlebars, willing myself in circles.


A streak of grass and bramble finds its way behind cottages on the lee side of the bluff. A potato moth beats windward. A weathervane contends no and no and no.


The cranberry bogs on the island’s interior—moors thick with scrub pine, sand paths—almost vibrate in the evening light. This is exactly the vivid dusk I imagined, the vermillion promise that I would keep if I could only / just / remember. It is a blood offering. Sickle-feathered swallows make a great godseye above the standing water, weaving together and apart in their quest for satiety.


Loom: crave, warp, that which is thrown away. Next to the bus stop, a wrought iron compass rose reaches out in a dozen cardinal directions, knitting together worlds that seem determined to drift.


In the yard, a young maple tree is just what you say. Root ball easing out, leaves pocked, new growth reaching for something it can never hold. It is terrified of all this unfolding. From its branches I can see the ocean.


Leeward: point of reference, rosehips and pine, protection. Once I let a kite strip itself out of my hands and watched it grow smaller and smaller until it disappeared inside of me. It is still there.

Two Afternoons


At the Getty we leave the amphoras, jade, the cool-muscled marble to search for the Pacific between too many trees. On the balcony one man missteps on a short heft of stairs, swings, paper thin. His bruised leg blossoms blood, an ant rolling a perfect dewdrop along a leaf. I have a band aid in my bag, hand it to the attendant who walks him to the bench. She is damaging in her steadiness, efficient in her care. He does not know where to look. We walk away quickly. “I’m sorry,” he says to the trees, the man with blood on his leg.


At the beach below Encinitas we are looking for river stones, far from their home, when a man falls hard on the rocks leading up to the parking lot, big cup drink splashed from his spotty hand. He cuts his palm heel, forearm, the back of his neck, a rushing to help him up, rolling him towards the hills and home. “I must be drunk,” he says, that ginger way of holding himself. I climb up behind him, searching for his blood on the rocks.

Ellene Glenn Moore is a writer living in sunny South Florida. She is the author of the chapbook The Dark Edge of the Bluff (Green Writers Press, 2017), and her poetry and prose have appeared in Best New Poets, Caliban, Raleigh Review, Brevity, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere.

To learn more, visit elleneglennmoore.com.