Poetry by Sarah Marquez : New Moon
New moon is the night
you went out to prove your shadow
would follow. It knew to hold back
meant being left behind.
You cried in the car
because the gravel road,
once straight, once familiar,
cut into a canyon. And you
could not see beyond the dead end.
Mind said this time turn back,
climb over, or pass through.
But what did your God say?
You stopped believing in him,
in his power to move the immovable.
Now, you feed your ears
action words–I can, I will, I must make a miracle.
You pick a lemon that looks like
a tangerine with yellow skin.
Peel away the season it took to ripen.
Lately, nothing is as it seems.
A year ago, the doctor freed you
from bedside nursing, the stress
of the job killing you slowly. If anyone
can survive the parting, cutting a full shape
from the fraying cloth, it’s you.
Whatever comes through the door next–
an open heart heavy with blood–
is not your concern. You float room to room,
on a cloud, mouthing goodbye
to the nightmare. Fluid drip, drip, dripping
from IV bags, monitors glowing,
unpredictable cardiac rhythms.
Thin voices chanting a spell
to keep the grim reaper from collecting them.
Ugly memories sprout black roots.
If only you could pull them up
before they spread and twist
into the matter of your soul,
but your shadow needs their poison
to grow tall. And finally, you need your shadow,
like new moon needs the night
and the absence of light on one side.