When the Moon Blooms

by Paula Ray

Your faded presence in sepia dream returns,

firelight whispers and vanilla scented ash.

We were a beautiful knot: sinew and hemp,

burlap and magnolia petal, concrete and vapor.


Gray kisses hovered overhead, misty visions,

a strong invisible grip inside a prayer,

hands folded into origami chapels

where our heart-shaped bells rang.


Time swayed, quiet, slow-dancing in starlight.

My heart, skipping across the water,

only to sink before reaching your shore.


And somehow, a magnolia moon has found you.

You, with your shovel, beaded brow, and purpose,

digging up roots to set me free.