Moonlit Slabs of Light on a Hernandez Church Floor | Crisosto Apache

Image: Robert Linder
Moonlit Slabs of Light on a Hernandez Church Floor

a cemetery
                                is lit by the light 
                                of the moon, while time
                       stands seemingly still,
                     lamenting a
             timeless value,
which covers the empty floor
             in a shape 
                                of a dying face,
the hollow bell knells solemnly
                       for the dead to linger there,
                       to be buried again
hollering is the reason for
                                      the isolation of solidarity--
                                             a tragedy
that befell the dead,
               the decaying reason has taken their chance
beneath a standing tree made into crosses,
the mountains are alive
                                      yet they appear dead,
                       there is no willful purpose,
while a fly sit humming on the sill
               and ants gather,
to confirm the time is still ticking, 
that light gleaming on the floorboards,
never ends the ceasing shadow	—but it does
                                                                —but that light 
                                                                   is beyond the dead

Crisosto Apache is from Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico (US) and lives in Lakewood, CO. They are Mescalero, Chiricahua Apache, and Diné of the Salt Clan born for the Towering House Clan. They are Assistant Professor of English and Associate Poetry Editor for The Offing Magazine. Crisosto’s debut collection GENESIS (Lost Alphabet) stems from the vestiges of memory and cultural identity of self-emergence as language, body, and cosmology. Crisosto is an Associate Professor of English at the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design. They hold an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Their latest collection of poetry, GHOSTWORD, is available now through Gnashing Teeth Publishing.

This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology, Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.