Size / / /

You open up your arms, embrace the dark

night absorbed by the freshly fallen snow.

Face upturned as if waiting for a kiss,

you think he's your lover—it's just the moon.

The neon sign stains the streets like his blood.

You can't wash the memory from your hands.

It's cold, but you refuse to hide your hands

in your pockets. "It isn't really dark,"

you say, but the snow white is stained with blood.

What crushes underfoot like old bones? Snow?

Shadows and clouds eat the face of the moon

and you're still out there waiting for that kiss.

Is it really that important, this kiss?

Every time you reach out to take my hands

I pull away, try to hide like the moon,

but there is no real safety in the dark.

The evidence is buried under snow.

Just like human skin, even snow can bleed.

It stains your shoes. "It's just a little blood,"

you say. Cold, blue lips parted for the kiss

you know won't come. Falling from the sky, snow

spirals toward the earth. "Catch it!" You hold hands

out. It could gnaw away at your darkness

and maybe absorb some light from the moon.

Like the face you thought was your love, the moon

peeks out, but hides again when it sees blood.

It's easier to lie inside the dark

about the lips you really meant to kiss.

They were not mine, but I still take your hand

and like angels we fall into the snow.

Beneath the blanket, we're buried in snow.

So deep, so far, not even a sharp moon

eye will find us. We are still holding hands

and I know you still want to try and kiss

me. All I can taste is the bitter blood

of a dying moon. Everything is dark.

And now the snow is melting into blood.

Old dying moon no one will ever kiss . . .

it's on your hands now. Everything's gone dark.

Jennifer Hudock is a graduating senior at Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania, majoring in English/Creative Writing. She was a 2006 recipient of the Fuller Fiction award and received an honorable mention from the Richard Savage Poetry Foundation. She currently lives in a remote valley of Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter. You can find more of her work at The Circle of Crones.
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8 Apr 2024

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