Ellene Glenn Moore

While You Were Out

I looked for a cracked kettle beneath the house, pennies ringing in the
      foundation like bright bells.

I looked for my shoes, uncovered them, wrapped the laces around a
      doorknob. I admit
I held my breath like a door.

I looked at everything but the box of baby teeth, glowing like a blank paper
      in the sun. I looked
at the sun, bright, dimpled citrus, counting the patches of canker ghosting
      across my eyes.

I looked for you pressed in rings of cedar, splinters of pine, bark twisting
      like ropes of water in a creek swollen with summer.

Effulgent, really. I looked it up.

I looked down the hallway and saw a light blink out. I admit
I left the television grinning like a thief.

I looked over the documents and threw them away, I blew bubblegum into
      a world as big as our room, I chewed up the paper and swallowed it.

Did you wonder why your words were printed on my tongue?

I looked for you outside, the lights dimmed, the asphalt pocked, the road
      suffused with incandescent longing.

I admit
I looked as bewildered as a bottle waiting for lips.

Walking Home in Mid-morning Traffic

On the corner of Fifth where North Craig turns south
                           I wait for the stoplight’s sobbing
                           to usher me from one island to the next

the way sun steams water from stone
the mournful rumble of rubber and gears
the loosening tension
           of light and air that inhales exhaust with abandon—

                      A car brakes in front of me
                                 child in the sun
                                 he holds a bottle of water to his face and dark eyes
                                                scatters light over his fingers and brow
                                 his latent frown—

The hot roadway fills with asphalt desires
                           that have everything to do with the soft hair on my neck
                           and the run in my hem

I want to scorch
            come into myself
            home from this burning street
                        crawling into the couch’s rough lap
The morning growls

red vase of peonies wilting on the window’s ledge
         They peel themselves apart like stockings silking down a leg

                   undress themselves under the sun’s broad eye

Author Portrait

Ellene Glenn Moore is a poet and MFA candidate at Florida International University. She is the recipient of a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fellowship in Poetry and is a 2014/15 Artist-in-Residence at The Studios of Key West. Moore has taught poetry workshops in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and throughout South Florida in prisons, women’s shelters, and high schools. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Caliban, Ninth Letter Online, Chautauqua, Spillway, and elsewhere.

View the website of Ellene Glenn Moore