Illustration: photo of brain coral digitally manipulated to resemble abstract glowing orange head and torso in space

Things To Ask Orion

Hunter, I wonder
what disarms you. It could not be
the boy who used to sweat

and kiss me
on my parents’ porch. He knew nothing
of cosmology except for his own

soft bodied kind that belongs
to teenagers. It is the trade off
for when the fever breaks, it breaks

down at the cemetery where I walk
with only dog treats in my pocket
I do not want to carry many things at once

but, Woodsman, do you keep with you
what passes like the moonlight on cars? I try
and cannot stop counting

the lambs on baby graves even as they grow
small as the asterisk a nurse put next to
still birth on my chart, unseemly

cosmic grudge against my body, disputed
object, that life on the exam table:
how many

others, Mister Sky Shepherd, have stood
under the lamp of your belt
just to cry

when no one can hear you, Winter Maker,
do you ever pretend to be somewhere else
tonight, perhaps, you return from your stalk

smoke one cigarette then trip into daytime
anonymous as the birds on my roof,
may I call you

Naked Guest, what appears to be
a holy place is where I am
hushed daily

Dumb Angel,
do you know what it means
to live here?

Ashley Oakes is like many people. She is middle aged and has children, pets and many interests. She spends her time paying attention to the people and things she loves. Some of her poems have appeared recently in The South Shore Review, Gyroscope Review, and Last Leaves Magazine.

Illustration by C.B. Auder.

NEXT – Talking to the Sun


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