Stiletto Moon

by Lisa Haag Kang

Sometimes the stiletto moon gleams
the stubbled husks, teasing out their
wither, their hush and whisper,

their earth-swallow. Harvest:
a memory of water and sun
or clean bones. If my face

is a browning parchment
spread over embers, and if
the flames pierce me,

mouth and eye, am I broken
or freed, bite by bit, each piece
a small eddy, a world?

A man said, every man
is born as many men and dies
a single one. Yet I was born

a single girl
wet, red, and howling,
and I will die as many:

sister, mother, mistress, wife—
the woman who rejected you,
the one who let you in.

Lisa Haag Kang is a poet and essayist who lives in Missouri with her husband, four children, three dogs, two birds, and the occasional hamster. Her work has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Examined Life, Spillway, The Lindenwood Review, and other journals. Her chapbook, A Benign Sort of Cannibalism, was awarded the Clockwise Poetry Chapbook Competition. Another poetry chapbook, Stiletto Moon, will be published by Aldrich Press, an imprint of Kelsay Books, later this year.