Cordelia M. Hanemann

No Moon: A Mother’s Lament

Die Schwebende by Aris Kalaizis

One hundred and fifty tiny white capsules
rush down your gullet—a roller-coaster
of ibuprofin,
and aspirin,
scavenged and hoarded against this time.

Night comes: the line of the horizon
calls for an end, but no moon shines
over the stones in my garden.

I’ve lived a hundred and fifty lives in all
your prior deaths; I’ve had two selves,
two kinds of powerlessness: motherhood
and the crimson line of blood calling.

I’ve felt the clutch of your heart, the pulse
of that boy-blood snaking through my body,
so I could scarcely tell where you ended and I began.
When you go to death, you do not go alone.

“Who would choose life over acid?” you said.

While you tripped on acid, fists reeling
through plaster and wood, two broken hands
cast in violet stone, I tripped on motherhood,
hands grieving through prayer and despair.

Night encroaches on day: the horizon’s bright line
succumbs to blank.

I have heard your wild cries in this night with no moon.
My mother’s hand finds you stone-cold on the floor.

You have closed your eyes as you closed your fists,
clenched on a darkness I, too, have known.
But, tonight, I sit alone, at this garden’s edge
in a grip of stone.


About the writer:
Cordelia Hanemann is currently a practicing writer and artist in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has published in numerous journals including Turtle Island Quarterly, Connecticut River Review, and Laurel Review; anthologies, The Well-Versed Reader, Heron Clan IV and Kakalak 2017 and in her own chapbook, Through a Glass Darkly. Recently the featured poet for Negative Capability Press and The Alexandria Quarterly, she is now working on a first novel about her roots in Cajun Louisiana.

Image: Die Schwebende (The Floating Woman) by Aris Kalaizis (1966- ). Oil on canvas. 210 x 300 cm. 2018. By free license.