Jan/Feb 2023  •   Poetry  •   Special Feature

Familial Ties that Bend

by Sarah Blackmon

Photo courtesy of NASA's image library

Photo courtesy of NASA's image library

Familial Ties that Bend

when you carve out crevices of a spiked heart
and offer it to the moon's gaze for slaughter.

it beckons the sea
to pry open its eyes
and mouth to release
those who stand bare before

the dripping of shame of ancestors
newly departed as

the mourning sky speaks
quietly to your mind.

The ancestors call out,
lamenting how you let sin bathe

in milky pools to become
hues primed for desecration

slowly washing them away
dismissing their burdens as an easy
blip in the gaze

of countless faces fastening
oceans on top of mountains

only wanting to be seen
only wanting to be safe