"…waters under heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let dry land appear…"

Some chaos slowed
became sluggish

like glass—land
is withered

waters. Feel
the waviness of old

windows in
the rolling

hills, hear the quiet

of desert, fear that
the tidal wave

height of mountains
might break, fall.


"Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life and fowl that may fly above the earth…"

Think of the sky
as a mirror

image of me. See
how it reflects

how blue I am. Look
clouds are nothing

but surf, another place
where I wrestle with air.

So I will be still
with you—together

we'll navigate
sky's shore.

Think of your wings
as fins your feathers

as scales think
of how high how far

you will swim
in currents

of air how you
will teach heaven

and earth
that the children

of water know
no bounds.

tina's wishes

  1. for every fire to shed tears
  2. for a codebook to the hollering of cicadas
  3. for freckles to surface on snowmen

a girl this young
could not know
her wishes

are for the secret
of wounds
for the beauty

in how every
skin cries
for itself

three moon faces

1. how the moon grows

mercury's a silvery
coconut in tina's palm,

she sees it dropping
through the fronds

of her fingers, knows it
ain't the stuff

of the fiery planet
it was named after.

instead, it has
a moon glow,

gathers itself
into a sphere

the way the moon
grows, has the same

pull that yanks
the tide around,

that draws her outside
to snicker at the dark.

2. what's in the full moon

how is there a man
in the moon?
where does he rest

his feet? it's just
a face peeking
through a carnival

plywood cut-out
posing for a laugh
on the dark body

of the night.
In the moon, tina
sees a shadow

of a laughing hare
poised in the circle
of light—his door

-way into this
dark burrow
she calls home.

3.  a dime she claims

the moon is
a dime tina claims

as it slips behind
the round flap

of earth's shadow
into a slot

of a cardboard
savings book.

she sleeps easier
when the moon

is safely tucked
behind that shadow,

instead of lying
as an offering

that someone else
could snatch

from night's
open palm.







apocryphaltext Vol. 3

T. Mozelle Harris teaches English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, edits PMS poemmemoirstory, and directs the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop for high school students. Her poetry and essays have been published in a variety of journals including Red Mountain Review, Santa Clara Review, PMS poemmemoirstory, StorySouth and the anthologies, Family Matters: Poems of Our Families and As Ordinary and Sacred as Blood: Alabama Women Speak. She has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes for her poetry and for one of her essays. Her personal interests include making pottery and exploring the outdoors.


4 poems by t. mozelle harris