Ellene Glenn Moore


I tell you this: the night before I was born my mama sent my waning daddy and two brothers down the street, dark elms pressing open the brick sidewalks from below, to the capitol building to watch the fireworks. Peace for Mama, and her big bellyful of me. But lights busted through the running-glass windows of our home and something in my mama—was it me? hankering to bang back?—kicked up a fuss and a longing for the bright explosions. The television made such big sounds so small. Our home seemed to spire up to stars that burned in the city sky, me in the way of my mama’s swollen feet as she walked up the stairs to a fire escape slinging out of a third floor window. Mama stepped out, sweating July iron. Pop pop pop the ringing bars grazed her belly as she pulled us up to the gravel roof where my shuffling feet kicked over themselves. Lightbursts made Mama’s face glow not just with copper, beryllium, lampblack, but now with questions, the baby ignited, bringing something hard as rock-salt to a house about to explode.

Ellene Glenn Moore lives in sunny Miami, where she is a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fellow in Poetry at Florida International University. She is a 2014/15 Artist in Residence at the Studios of Key West. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Caliban, Chautauqua, Jai-Alai Magazine, Barn Owl Review, and others. Find her at elleneglennmoore.com.