Half Moons

I.

The half-moon knows my whole name
and it knows
my father’s father didn’t speak to my parents
until after my younger brother was born.
He did this because my brother
can carry on the name
that our grandfather brought
with him from the Mediterranean Sea,
like a genetic souvenir
from a party I was never invited to.

When I was twelve my grandfather,
my Papu, gave me a hunting knife.
I came back holding a bouquet of wildflowers,
he shamed me.
He told me the blade was meant
for bones and blood and tendons
and not my girlish tendencies.

After my Papu died,
I went to visit my Yaya
in their home in the desert.
We spent a week
hiding from the heat
and watering their garden
and leaving bread for the quails.

She told me that she used to dance
every weekend as a teenager.
She said she would just
dance and dance and dance
and carry her shoes
home to Queens
where she grew up.
Then she met my Papu and she stopped dancing.

Eleven years after I was gifted that knife
and five years after Papu died,
I make my room like a jungle
with flora and fauna
from suburban supermarkets
where you can drink and buy plants.
Yaya lives in Florida now
and dances with her friends from church.

II.

The half-moon knows my whole name
It knows the secret
I only take out at night

Which is:
I am excited to have been born
But I am tired
To have been born again
And again and again and again

And yet
I recognize the power in
this fluidity
this timeliness of always being
in a state of becoming

The half-moon knows my whole name

It knows that
I am everything
I ever wanted to be
And that I
so rarely see it that way

By JoLee Kirkikis.

Jolee is a photographic artist residing in Grand Rapids, MI. Her work explores finding strength in vulnerability, the vitality of sensitivity, and the importance of remaining soft. She obtained a degree in Art History with a minor in Photography from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. Follow her on Tumblr, Instagram at @jollycrickets, on Twitter at @deerbeds.

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