Beneath the Full Moon
By David Shumate
As the moon ripens from crescent to plump, my dreams turn to carnivals. The gentlest people become brutal. Buddha arm wrestles his followers. Jesus teaches his disciples the seven deadly karate moves. My great-grandmother waves a sword as she leads a band of rioters down the avenue. Bears lumber down the alleys searching for widows to make into mates. The man who lives in the boughs of our maple tree leans down and complains that no one has fed him for weeks. Even you, known for your unfaltering kindness, sported a pair of horns last night at a debutante ball. Three more days until the moon is full. I eat persimmons. I drink mushroom tea. I read books and catch up on correspondence. I would go fishing if the river weren’t frozen. I would call you up, but only in dreams do the dead answer their telephones.