national anthology of the best undergraduate writing 2014

Lunar Sonnet

Canese Jarboe  • 
Pittsburg State University

There will only be one this month, bloated
and pale like leftover rib bones on the plate
after you ate the half-rack at Lucky Luke’s. I choke
on the hard acrylic cue ball resting


on beer-splattered black felt. Full moon last spring,
we were in the pen giving the muddy calf his bottle and
Dad’s friend shot his wife with a 20-gauge spring-
loaded shotgun, then himself.


A pregnant woman carries low—hiding
the fat circumference under her t-shirt, the possibility
of darkness. It isn’t strong enough to pull the tide
up over us like a ratty quilt.


The moon has an empty stare,
all the eyes pried from sockets.