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Featured Poem • November 2013




Brittany Warman


All Sequence Start. ten The moon howls in my blood, a mother calling to her child. My eyes are closed, the pregnant silence around me complete, too still, mechanical.  I do not look at the others, do not say a word in their tongue. They would not understand, they do not hear you. My human hands clench and I can feel the familiar pulse of change beginning beneath my skin. Outside, the summer sky glows blue and clear, hiding my mother's full face to everyone but me.  nine The years I have spent waiting for this last countdown streak across my eyes like comets. I have solved their mathematical puzzles, endured their simulations, passed their tests, studied and trained with the best they have to offer. I have lit candles at your altar and begged for forgiveness, mother, for understanding. These scientists, they do not know you. eight I have suffered their ignorance and prepared my body/mind/soul to meet you, mother. I have fought the wolf in me in order to fit into a white suit, to wear the flag of my human birth country on my breast, and shoot myself into the skies. Have you seen my work, mother? Are you proud? seven How many times have I torn my eyes from you to look at their books and their machines? I have denied my wild heart behind steel-rimmed glasses, become faint with the effort of hiding. I have lied and lied for you, craved the taste of senseless death and said no, cried weak, man-made tears. six Full moon nights I spent sleepless in human beds and willed my body to ignore your call. I ripped through the veins in my wrists with my teeth to distract my heart, to feel anything else but your wounded presence in the darkness, my desire for you burning me alive. ignition sequence start three Your body under my paws— a moment of perfection before I dissolve into stars. two I hear the blast before I feel it, wait for weightlessness. one I will connect our hearts, mother, as has never been done before. Ignition.



bbwBrittany Warman is a PhD student in English and Folklore at The Ohio State University, where she concentrates on the intersection between literature and folklore, particularly fairy tale retellings. Her creative work has been published by or is forthcoming from Jabberwocky Magazine, Ideomancer, inkscrawl, Cabinet des Fees: Scheherezade’s Bequest, and others. She can be found online at brittanywarman.com.

She says that “WereMoonMother” is “hands down the oddest poem I’ve written thus far but also one of the most personally fulfilling. It started off as a vague idea about the ways one could blend folklore and science fiction in poetry and slowly transformed into a meditation on intense desire, dedication, and connection. A part of me knows this wolf-girl all too well.”



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