Five poems by




63 a Pandemic and Me

Queerer        my god to thee          finds me cutting days 

into       birthday brownies      breaking lines of poems      

with chocolate pecans           who give up the ghost     

on the easy way down      this hallelujah shoot’s      ladder of love


Oh, sister me      in Jesus       my favorite flavor     not found

among the choices in isle # 3        at Safeway on Sunday     in my

Liz Taylor gloves      bringing baby blue back      to harmonize

with my face     and its royal       symphonic thong


Amazing space     how sweet the sound     little mouths make

pushing heavy breaths out          in confessionals made

out of portals      so public     the private is shamed    to think

that forgiveness      could ever clean     such vicious viral behavior.


Come Closer

Far enough away to make skin the ground of sorrow,

the least you can say is

come closer,
the least I can do is tell death it’s a plow dulled by bones.
Later, when we gather in the aftermath of anguish,
survivors will recall how homes became castles
and dressing up as Royalty was the tower of each day.
With you in acres of lavender lace and me in crimson velvet,
the old life has no appeal. The past will not snuff torches on the walls.
Above the moat a bridge will not bow to a horse’s gallop.



Not at this unlikely moment.
Not because someone has yet to be born
who plays an essential part in your future
a breakable, burnable, handheld part.
Not at the end of brief lifelines
sprawling across your palms like a desert,
those acres of sand’s white failure to grow
something gorgeous your past could not see
entombed in the cactus of sorrow's cement.
Not between for and against with
barbedwire lips praising pro-life shadows
of silos shaped like American breasts
teasing heaven with nuclear milk.
Not for the sake of Mother Mary.
Not so the bulb in one dead star
can dream about shining again.

The Arraignment


                You of all breaths 

should remember
those reckless nights
others took you
deep into themselves

                making you a bed
in their pulmonary palace
where gorgeous gondolas
painted with blood
carried whispers
through ear canals.

                Stunned by how easily
tomorrow was ruined
by the romantic need
to be heard, this poem
is a flare from the
gun of my tongue.

                 You of all breaths
on the trigger must know
that holding a stranger
with lips is a crime.
Tell me, how do you plead?

Things Got Really Quiet

Even the sound of Northwest rain
could not wash the stains of breath
off the body’s walls.
The exquisite excuses made by god
as the tube left my throat for the garbage
became a nurse’s song of praise to
faithful Saint Disposable.
A stranger in the bed next to me said
rescue is the sky’s red wings
flapping on the shore of your veins,
as a Cardinal kissed the window hard
before anointing the hospital ground
where things got really quiet.

Daniel Edward Moore lives in Washington on Whidbey Island. His poems are forthcoming in Nixes Mate Review, Lullwater Review, El Portal, Emrys Journal, The Meadow, West Trade Review, Toho Journal, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Lindenwood Review and Sheila-Na-Gig Pandemic Anthology. He is the author of Boys (Duck Lake Books) and Waxing the Dents (Brick Road Poetry Press).