CAROLINE RAYNER

FROM THE MOAN WILDS






Listen, baby, the wine. Listen, the whole fucking afternoon, bruised like a rose. Listen, the blue heaves into the dark, crumpling the velvet, forgetting to soak it in the bathtub. Meanwhile the river does what it viciously does. Cerulean or ceaseless, depending. It might saturate, your body and mine, or it might carry, your body and mine,

to the chapel where one woman evaporated and the other became a cave. Formless and holding, mist of that night, tumbling into something that wanted to accumulate where I still like to keep the cards. The high priestess said the hanged man said. Lavender for this, lavender for that. Sparkling, I promise. The more sediment, the better. Now do you see,

electricity in the bowl, like anemone, in full bloom, in water, only vibrating, burning a little, then escaping through the window I flung to make the house cool,

anyway.

The truth is that I hear nothing until you throw your voice like you do, your hair like you do, the cosmology of it, sending me.

I could slide it between my teeth, I could ease it apart with my teeth. I could make it a little more like rain with my teeth, silk with my teeth.

How else to deal with the fact that lacunae can be found in language, and in bone, but not in the sky.

Nothing, nothing, seriously, nothing ricochets like

when you screech, baby. You demon, rewinding all twelve hours of the movie, insisting, legs, legs, legs. You masochist, blooming at night, you tornado,

I go out and find something to drink. Again, with sediment.

Magnolia for burning, mimosa for running. Shit harnessed in that fragment of totality, shit poured into a bottle from the mountain. Shit recalling devastation, lethargic in the passenger seat, forgiving and forgiving and forgiving until jaded. Horizontal in the grass. Blushing like a figure skater. Weeping like a saint. Hold on, baby, remember to make a fountain with your hands. Welcome to superstition season,

baby, welcome to hell. Could be whipped into shape, except for how it leaks. Anyway, the water, the water. I snap into the evening, or the basic glory of the weekend. I fix your bathing suit. Twisting, twisting again. Until it decides to stay.

When partial, the moon demands my least impressive dress, my personal hell. Remind me, baby, where my hips go, where you usually do. Hunting light, smoke light, everyone knows what will mess with it. You could call it crass, but then what, spiral,

emerge oblivious with nothing but a hangover to show for it. Snake of light on your cheek, baby, there you go, swinging. Just whistle like the woman in the movie,

or the woman who always seemed older, in her sleeveless dress,

because she knew the band. Wandering into this hour of the day. Like the silk I brought, rippling and rippling. Too much flash, whatever. Clutch the water, bear with it, listen. If it catches, it will do anything.

CAROLINE RAYNER is a poet and music writer who also teaches classes about the moon. She is the author of calorie world (Sad Spell, 2017). Her work can be found in jubilat, Black Warrior Review, Peach Mag, Shabby Doll House, Tiny Mix Tapes, and elsewhere.