Ghazal: Moonless, We Strut By Katie Kemple

Ghazal: Moonless, We Strut

A flock of teens above us on the school roof tonight—
we glance quickly, walk faster in the moonless night.

Our school mascot’s legs are too short to walk right,
he’s a predator that hunts moths, a hawk of night.

Do you wonder why a woman walks her girls without
a man, without a moon, in the ink of a ruthless night?

My daughters aren’t afraid of the barn owl’s cry,
the coyote’s howl, or teen boys on a roofless night.

We replenish the calcium of our skeletons, hips tilt
a tick-tock walk down the planet’s boneless night.

A girl with long hair, shifts her legs, her weight,
and skates down the center of our street tonight.

Wheels that steal across the landscape of dark:
you can’t catch what’s quick in the fearless night.

I used to walk zombie-style, my arms out straight,
to stop webs from threading my face in fright.

A spider’s too clever to cast a net of my height,
she graphs moths into mummies. Oh, starry night!

The crackers of concrete have yet to be bitten
by the roots of young oaks, in the hungry night.

Our shoes smack pavement, we laugh hard, out right—
our voices burst sparklers into “Ah!” tonight.

By Katie Kemple


Katie Kemple is a mostly vegan person raising two kids, an elder pug, and a carnival goldfish in San Diego. She’s married to the love of her life. Her poems can be found in The Elevation Review, The Collidescope, The Racket, and Right Hand Pointing, among others.

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