Catherine Moore

How the Women Protest

             After photo exhibit, Casa Fernando Pessoa, Lisbon, Portugal

I.
She left her lover in bed, fetal-curled,
blanketless under a uncurtained window.
Last night they reread Tolstoy before she
threw volatile words into playing violin.

Her song is siege.

Her name, one given to an only child.
She lounges arms spread, fingers splayed, rages
a mouth wide to consume half of her face
smeared, like a blood meal, war stripe.
The clavicle throbbing thread-fierce blouse
wrung from collarbone to lymph nodes, V-neck
falling off her shoulder recoiled from missiled word.

She demands answers, will bide the reply:
crane honking
             Black Locust
                          magnetite

raw suet against throat.

II.
She fled with a quick scarf over her moss head
reddish-cobalt color, askew, she has no mirror.
Last night she ate fish fleeced of it silver skin,
cooled slowly on a marble slab.

Her word is wrath.

She’s the last living Sophia in her family.
She remains mute and unwilling. At attendance.
Lips tight with obvious decision, her fierce
words pierce between black eyelashes, frames
acid-rain stare, illegible glower. Her arms
are taut over chest to keep the onus close.
Venom behind eyes wearying of the wait.

She has answers, she visits each grave weekly:
lioness gazing
             Mahogany
                    talc

sootheness over furor.

Author Portrait

Catherine Moore is the author of Story (2015), 921b Elysian Fields Avenue - Return to Sender (2015), and Wetlands (dancing girl press, 2016). Her poetry appears in Southampton Review, Cider Press Review, Wicked Alice, Blue Fifth Review, Caesura, Red Paint Hill Journal, and in various anthologies. She won the Southeast Review’s 2014 Gearhart Poetry Prize. Catherine lives in the Nashville area where she enjoys a thriving writer’s community and was awarded a MetroArts grant. Catherine earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Tampa, and she teaches at a community college. She’s tweetable @CatPoeti

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