Giving the Moon Back to the Moon

Nanna comes to me as darkness
takes its turn above our great house
E-gish-shir-gal, a black bowl sky
soupy with flinching starlight.

Enlil’s son favors this routine
drawing the moon up slowly
from the sea, and tonight
is no exception. I watch him

lift her from her watery cage,
his wet hands holding her
aloft like a golden calf, womb
slick and dripping. She’s mine

as he is mine, as I am his.
We three orbit each other:
priestess, moon, god
eyes kept wandering

from one face to the next.
We consecrate the temple’s
sacred heart with fingers
and tongues. With her here

our home finally waxes full.
Then the horizon pinkens.
Nanna leaves. Yet the moon
sometimes lingers, faint

and growing fainter, like
breath printed on glass,
waiting for permission.
I hold out my hand, feel

across our divided sheets
for her shoulder. Morning
settles light into shadow
as I give what blessing I can.

[Hayley Stone is an award-winning author and poet from California whose work has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science FictionApex MagazineStar*Line, and more. She is best known for her weird western novel, Make Me No Grave, and her sci-fi series, Last Resistance. Find her at]