Elixir for Revival of Nocturnal Beasts

by Brock Marie Moore

the bent woman whispered where
she'd find the tree, and when
the moon would be full; or rather,
just starting to spill
over down the nightcloth, plump vessel
leaking into gibbous wane.

it is crucial to catch the brightest drops.

lyla climbs the bitter hills with muddied knees,
legs grass-whipped raw,
clutching the bucket as a child to her breast.
and here the tree is crouched
like a mammoth rock-clung spider,
its broad black leaves bowing,
beneath the heavy spill of moonshine.

monstrous tree drinks in the light, drinking deep;
sucks the moonspray from porous leaf to vein,
excreting glowing sap-trickles
from tiny wounds in its bark.

inside her bucket, two glass jars clink
together. lyla draws a silver drill,
hypodermic thin.

two jars of sap, honey-thick and
moonbright — to be fed
in quivering convex spoonfuls
to the helpless mouth;
fed until her darling once again opens
his yellow eyes.

Brock Marie Moore lives in South Texas (one of the driest and hottest of the Lower Planes) with her partner, various feline pestilentials, and their dog, who has mastered several tiers of obedience and agility training and yet cannot manage to be friendly with passing strangers. (Brock herself suffers from the same disability, curiously enough.)

When asked which poem she immediately associates with the word "cherry," Brock replied "'...and the reddest stolen cherries!' It's one by Yeats... ah... 'The Stolen Child,' yes. 'Come away, o human child / to the waters and the wild / with a faery, hand in hand / for the world's more full of weeping than you can understand...' Perhaps misquoted a little, and perhaps a frightfully common response. But certainly the first thing that leapt to mind."

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