Kendra Tanacea


Two and Moon by Marta Shmatava

I roll out a vast expanse of butter dough

cookie-cut a cluster of stars

an empty constellation

while the ones in the oven rise

double in size

our son scissors your silhouette

from black construction paper

the scrap on the table a perfect void

now we have two of you

a comfort a curse

I stand at the top of the stairs where

you wobbled and I caught you


the moon a bright ball in my hands

a manhole into which I fall

your weak sweet heart

I said just go to sleep

and you did

I cut back the roses

there’s my shadow

a keyhole only I can walk through

and all around it



About the writer:
Kendra Tanacea, attorney, holds a BA in English from Wellesley College and an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College. Her first collection of poetry, If You’re Lucky Nobody Gets Hurt, was a finalist for the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees, published by Lost Horse Press, was a finalist for the Idaho Prize for Poetry. Kendra’s poems have appeared in Rattle, North American Review and Poet Lore, among others.

Image: Two and Moon by Marta Shmatava (1965-). Oil on canvas. 100 x 80 cm. 2014. By free license.