Did it take long to find me?

                                    “Moonshadow,” Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)

This is a happy prayerful song, a song

from Teaser and the Firecat. Long ago,

album covers were big and the Firecat

was an orange moon and the moon

was as silver as Teaser’s hair. In the song,

a man is dismembered—hands, eyes,

legs, mouth, tongue, all gone, yet he remains

grateful, like Job, whose daughter Eyeshadow

is killed and is returned along with her sisters,

Cinnamon and Dove, and all Job’s lands,

as a reward from God. Long ago,

I admired gratitude, prayed for pain to teach me,

until I felt pain. Now, I’m just

greedy, clumsy. In last night’s dream,

I made messy cat eyes with liner,

 smudged ashy gray silk weed around

my orbital sockets. The moon

was my grandma’s eye, looking down,

for me, her lids shadowed

by anemia and soft powdery blue.

Jennifer Martelli (she, her, hers) is the author of The Queen of Queens (Bordighera Press) and My Tarantella (Bordighera Press), awarded an Honorable Mention from the Italian-American Studies Association, selected as a 2019 “Must Read” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, and named as a finalist for the Housatonic Book Award. She is also the author of the chapbooks In the Year of Ferraro from Nixes Mate Press and After Bird, winner of the Grey Book Press open reading, 2016. Her work has appeared in The Academy of American Poets Poem a Day, The Tahoma Literary Review, Thrush, The Sycamore Review, Cream City Review, Verse Daily, Iron Horse Review (winner of the Photo Finish contest), Poetry, and elsewhere. Jennifer Martelli has twice received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for her poetry. She is co-poetry editor for Mom Egg Review.

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