Kimberly Schleder


(I)                Waxing Crescent


There was a woman unwell,

the housemaids would tell,

her toes and fingertips


like an autumn twilight.


(II)              First Quarter


A wraith within those walls,

une femme en blanc.


An animal within an animal.


(III)           Waxing Gibbous


Shameless hysterics


Diana, free she

who boasts freedom

from her sickbed.


(IV)          Full Moon


I swear


at night in her chair,


I swear

someone else

was sitting there.


(V)             Waning Gibbous


She reeked always of fumigation –


fine powder,


something hard and brown

like copper.


(VI)          Last Quarter


Something within her wandered.

Her eyes began to bulge.


(VII)        Waning Crescent


Each night sunk deeper in her chair,

the fire’s shadows splashing her face.

No matter the weight of resistance

her bent neck burned beneath mocking blaze.


(VIII)     New Moon


He would tell no one


until long after she died,

but he swore on those jet,

dreadful, dark, dragging nights,

as she stared deep and long

into that dying hearth,

her tired eyes blown wide,

some devil unearthed.


Though each morning delivered the sick woman back,

each evening her eyes grew almost fully black.