Calliope Teaches Me How to Write
It’s dusk, and these hallowed grounds
are motionless and silent
Orange radiates from the horizon,
and the oak trees loom like shadows
of old professors
In the distance, a blue jay chirps at the wrong time
She doesn’t know that now, she should be still
Self-care is necessary like the rain for oaks, so
I keep rooting my toes in the soil
and raising my eyes up to the sky
Calliope says, “Pick your hands up
and put them on paper.
Get out from under these shadows.
Plant your seeds now in the dark.
Remember the calm when new
growth sprouts up.”
A psyche that is
split, that shifts and spins
Tears and laughter, sometimes
Always questioning feelings
Always trying to suppress
what will bubble up to the surface after
ages of suppression
envelopes around you, curls
up your nostrils and down into your lungs
It’s wet but not heavy, you never feel full
It’s a Fire that starves everyone of Air
is coated with burgundy sugar
It feels good going down
as you are wrapped in cellophane and
from inside and out.
When the parts are moving in sync,
when there is balance,
when synapses are firing,
but not on Fire,
When the wave recedes back
at shore break, when I feel my feet
sinking, but supported, moving,
but without movement.
Casey Catherine Moore is a bipolar, bisexual writer, high school teacher, and activist. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of South Carolina with a focus on Classics, Latin poetry, women’s and gender studies, and queer theory. Her writing centers gender and sexuality, particularly queerness and gender divergence, dis/ability and mental health, pop culture, LGBTQ+ rights, educational equity, and other social justice issues.
Image: Giuseppe Fagnani, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons