“Hunter’s Moon” By Jack Bolsen

Only a moon this red could portend
autumn’s death. Light nests in clouds
smoldering like leaves
at the side of the burned street.
Hours wane like candlewax
as moon transcends night,
the smile of Artemis tripled
in the bright glass
of a horned owl’s eyes.

Alabaster crown
marooned in a shroud of wool
as the church bell tolls.

Skeletal branches,
undressed by summer leaving,
shiver in pale light.

The dead are waiting.
Their pleas rustle in whispers
among fallen leaves.

I can almost hear the full moon whispering
as I twist among lucid dreams, then sheets,
and wake, feeling the fear receding,
the fear the first hunters must have felt,
stalking prey even as the eyes of wolves
sank deep into the blood of their being.
I search the room with nothing but veins,
my skin restless with suppressed madness,
straining to feel movement in air,
but nothing is there.

Jack Bolsen was raised in Bethany, Illinois and became interested in poetry at 16 after stumbling across Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” in his English textbook. His favorite poets are Robert Frost, Sharon Olds, William Wordsworth, Thomas Gray, and Linda Pastan. He is currently a student at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, VA. He lives with his cat Yoda in Virginia Beach, VA.

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