Jacob Louis Moeller


We will find you, fickle friend,

where the grass parts ways for snakes

where wealthy women make talk

of the men who feed them—

dressed in summer colors

with matching drinks and cackled laughter,

we will find you in the song notes

they sing to each other

when sunlight gives way to moonshine.


We will search the spaces between

lightning strikes and thunderclaps—

underneath the bed sheets

of a boy who won’t stop reading

when the lights go out.

We will look for you

inside half-empty cereal boxes,

or perhaps we will dig you

from the sandcastles

we buried in our birthday cards.


Where Mozart breathes

through the fingers of a child

where his mother’s tears fall

as he plays for her that first time.

Wherever his father drinks that last drink

and beneath the floorboards of the home

he broke with the backside of an open fist—

where water drips red with blood.


Where tiles chipped like a tooth

in the mouth of a household

grow moldy from the inside out,

where books beg to be read aloud,

words beg to be let out

from the birdcage chest

hiding beneath the breasts

of a wasted woman who thought

she found you last time she lost herself.


We will find you in ourselves

the next time we try moving on—

the next time we paint our faces

with stage makeup and make up

reasons to look like old photographs

we’ve hidden from new lovers,

the next time you love us

we will have climbed a few miles

in search of god.


Not your God but ours—

the one that carves its home in the poem

that beats beneath our breastplates,

that makes sense of signal fires

we set as warning signs

for the times we forget you are still coming—

for the times we find your footprints

in the gardens we use

to grow our spines back.


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