Signs Among The Spanish Moss

by Darius Stewart

I’ve chosen a quiet place in this great old house,
wandered the rooms,
gazed out the windows: Spanish moss
tangled like silly string in the cypress,
great mounds of it floating in the pool

where a couple may have taken a midnight
swim, brushed the strands from their arms, maybe
mistook them for exposed veins—fibrous, infected,
relentlessly inescapable. This is where my imagination turns
whimsical to glum, I know, though I can’t help but wonder

if this empty house signals the end of their love,
if the signs were in the sky pockmarked with stars,
as though the cosmos had unleashed its grief
upon the world: Spanish moss & stars: the signs?
No . . . forgive me. It may be the silence is too ingratiating.

I’ve forgotten what it feels like to curl one’s body into the curl of another
& wait out the night in cathedral silence,
just a kiss or two at the nape of the neck
for assurances, because, after all, this moment
is one of the great palaces of the world: intimacies

in borrowed light of the moon or lamp-like glow
of a hundred fireflies just outside your window, you listening
to wave after wave of latticed sounds filling each room
with possibilities of surviving the night, & waking
the next day eager for the hours to peel away

until you reach the hour when everything repeats.


Darius Stewart was born in Knoxville, TN, in 1979. He holds degrees from The University of Tennessee and the Michener Center for Writers (a B.A. and an M.F.A., respectively). He has been previously anthologized in two volumes of The Southern Poetry Anthology series, The Best Gay Poetry 2008. He’s been published elsewhere in Callaloo, The Seattle Review, Meridian, and dozens of other journals. He has authored three chapbooks: The Terribly Beautiful (2006), Sotto Voce (2008) and The Ghost the Night Becomes (2014). He bartends for a living because it makes more money than teaching, and lives with two dogs: Fry (his) and Waffles (his housemate’s, who doesn’t think he’s an artist, but he is).


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I am a dreamer, as well as a doer, who lives in the North Georgia mountains. I started my publishing journey August of 2013, have had moderate success, but my utmost passion is my "daytime" job, which is working with adults who are constantly striving to better their lives as they obtain the GED credential.

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