3rd Place - Oct 2012

"rocky mountain requiem"

tonight there rises a blue moon,

not really blue but full and resonant,
the second this month, a pale coin
hung behind finespun clouds, a punctured
opening into the elsewhere.

the drive to alberta is a lesson in

death: first, a yearling black bear dragged
to the road's edge by a motorist, slumped
shoulder-heavy, bleeding from its lips.
next, the antlered buck caught mid-leap
on barbed wire, weeks ago, picked partially
clean by crows and bleached by the blue
moon's brilliance.

we stop at a viewpoint, pullover into a gravel

parking lot and kick up small pieces of chipped
quartz. the air thins out, searing the insides of my
lungs with its coolness. with my shoulders hunched
i mourn the collapsed bear, the buck suspended in his
savage upsurge, fixed on a sharp perch, all the dead beasts
who fell by the light of day, who the blue moon falls upon now.

 ~ Chelsea Comeau