“moon milk,” “the silence and distortion” and “soft fire”

In Issue 62 by Jennifer Platts-Fanning

“moon milk,” “the silence and distortion” and “soft fire”
Photo by Thomas Despeyroux on Unsplash

moon milk

that vulnerable space, between thigh and throat

between tongue, and depleted serotonin

of rotten apple clusters seething with life

of elegantly draped

heavily dusted spider webs

looking more like torn rags from the thickness

now,

not as before,

visits digesting from capsulated nightmares

cease

crack open the moon

spill forth its warm milk and cinnamon

into elegantly curved carafe

pour, into waiting ear

coating brain in organic slumber

within the dreamscape

She runs

the antlered ashwagandha sleep goddess

on the edge of the periphery

edge of the celestial lit horizon

with lavender fur

flowing milk white hair

fragile hopes of luring her to bed

to languidly lie on twisted, book-filled blankets

to recline weary head upon her so soft fur

she’ll stroke my hair

I’ll stroke her lavender scented fur

resist,

coaxing her to bed

with cheap knockoff sleep, prescribed for the rundown corner drug store

hand feeding the wild beast pharma tricks

chained slumber

factory processed twelve-hour coma made in laboratories

sluggish brain filled with its calories, additives

longing for eyelids that stay shuttered at night

the free-range variety

moon milk cravings

to sleep enough to dream

instead,

body cleansed of harsh sedation

trying to float on fluffy valerian clouds

and indica

dim luminescence, breezy white noise

flowers stuffed inside plastic capsules

their roots thinly buried in the crowded nightstand soil

jostling for lamplight

steeped and steaming chamomile leaves

swallowing primitive tools

traps laid

the hunt begins

tracking highly prized dream meat

illusive and skittish, aware of innumerous subtle surrounding energies

searching for my hesitant, hooved guide

to the realms of sleep

but, She senses diluted meditation

takes flight to the weather beaten troposphere

the depths of the pillaged, empty ocean

hides deep within the plundered forests

skittering between axed trees

only glimpses of faint tracks on the blood trail

instead feeding savory dreams to those who do not desire her so

those who would shrug her off for something idle

ancient Sleep

not created for blocks of time

but for the weary naps of hunter gatherers.

deeply relaxed when the rain comes

innate ancestral knowledge

vulnerable creatures sleep better when the sky cracks open.

predators don’t hunt in stormy weather.

creeping close

the hypnic jerk

drifting into the unheard

almost stroke the fine ends of violet intoxicant

desperation clings to the night air

like the smell of spent ammunition

sulfurous and hungering

camouflaged blind compromised, exposed

Sleep bolts

the fog faeries in my mind flutter away, and I,

am left with my awakenings.

seams along body loosen

threadbare shoulder, frayed knees

serotonin drains through scalp, oiling thick, wavy hair

dopamine leaks

over hips, down length of legs, pooling between toes

in mirror light

with shiny new needle, silky thread

overcast stitch broken skin, trim away rough edges

hem shoulder, darn filet lace over knees

collect drops of serotonin squeezed from hair

catch dopamine dripping from toenails

into porcelain mug, for morning tea.

the silence and distortion

the silence, dissolves

rising, before amplified distortion

as the newly borne rim of a spherical universe

is born

expanding, with the imagery of your mythologies

sharing visions through language

a curved, steel hook, sharply caught, in my limbic system

reeling my mind, into yours, with imaginary worlds

simultaneous release, of interstellar creative energy

a new world, now forming

in some place

in some time

magnified to your eye

once again,

as before,

I have that strange, familiar feeling

I’m walking

upside-down, on the bottom of this globe

the soft souls of my feet magnetized to the earth

the real terra firma to be found, out there, beyond the clouds

gazing over your newly formed world

looking down from my headlong position

watching your actors play out their dysfunction, their love

watching

as many suns lit the curve

as the atmosphere shed its water weight

as the wind dipped her fingers through the soft, fuzzy rushes

and spirals of crows filled the space with omens

my feet began to peel from the soil

a flood of starlings funneled around me

swirling me down

you’re alone

at the centre of your newly created realm

a god

your philosophies escaping through connections in the air between us

into my cerebrum

Honey, do you want me?

the walls of your world are thin

you’re on the other side

vulnerable head resting in architect hands

leaning, against a blue tower

forgive me for wanting you

for coming to find you

for pulling you out

from under the rubble of your our creation

the path to your door is being laid

but my vanguard plant water hemlock and devil’s helmet

to block my way

the world crumbling at my touch...

...and I was thrust

through the distortion

pushed back, through the shared atmospheres

passed the silence

bruised

and I stood, right side up, on Reality.

soft fire

carried over from the ancient verse

inside a magma gift box of cosmic rock

tossed through the shrouded gateway of a black hole

streaking brilliantly across cinnamon-sparkling space

with intent

soft fire

to set our world alight

to create shadow play, for the first storytellers.

heat, for the huntress’s first roasted wildebeest steak

to feed her wide-eyed, ravenous wolfskin wildling.

ambience, for the lovers

to twist themselves together by.

for the belly of Mother Earth, to turn her body

dancing to her own wild witch beat

between the stars.

soft fire

in front of your eyes, lustfully bends; flaming ballerina

your breath on her, shapes its will, stimulating her to spread

soft flame

to lick sweat from your tender-sweet thigh

lightly scorch the length of long, vulnerable, extended neck

strike an inferno in the deep crevice at the corner of luminesce eye;

sending volcanic shivers as it climbs,

searing flesh,

inch by inch,

up,

your supple spine.

About the Author

Jennifer Platts-Fanning

Jennifer Platts-Fanning writes poetry, short stories and plays, and is a recipient of a 2020 Island Literary Award for her short story, "Four Thieves Vinegar" and the 2022 Battle Tales VII winner for her poetic creation myth, "The Book of Threads". Her work has found its way onto various theatrical stages, including, "Held to the Fire" chosen for Watermark Theatre's 2018 Play Reading Series, "An Answer to the Question on Death" staged at Fridays with Fringe in 2019 and her dystopian fable, "Apple Bones" performed at the 2021 PEI Community Theatre Festival. She belongs to the highly creative PEI GIFted Genre Writing Group, where her writing is published in the annually released GIFt Horse anthology.