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2 poems by Taylor Gray Moore

Art by Alex Gerasev

Beginning and Ending

Some mornings we

stayed up waiting

to see the first sunlight come.

On my balcony,

facing each other across a small black table,

seated in those two plastic chairs I found

on the curbside years before.

Because if we slept we would lose

each other's company

for a few hours.

There would be the gristle of

chicken thighs left on our plates

for us to gnaw

like animals come the morning,

in lieu of breakfast. But fine,

we thought,

we were animals.

The sun rising behind your head,

through the window out the other side

of the fire escape and perfectly framed by it,

reminded me of a halo—

though you were no angel.

Nor was I,

and we thought that was why we could be.

Neither of us would say it was worth it.

Now it’s springtime again. But the trees

remain bare

and everything is frozen.

Those still here and without hope,

or myself alone,

await summer and the fall of angels.

In The City of LIfe

Imagine, say:

three ships along an old horizon

sailing for that ivory, that iron port set

astride the bounds of the same deep shores

where every ancient empire found its fall.

Where they came from in their hunger

is only death, and death travels

beside them within the waves,

death ignored, death embraced,

death in collars, death's waif

held close to its hollowed bosom.

In their lust they flee

towards a ruin of life lived


old men in soiled rags chewing on bone

in the dusty plazas where poets wrote,

whet their tongues, where nobles gossiped,

where peasants crouched, huddled,

where philosophers would brood. Before

calamity struck. But death is yet to find this place.

Life lives. Huddled around a bonfire, starved,

it looks up and sees ships with steely eyes,

it stands to lope towards a grotesque shore

and receive its visitors and let

them find their

ruined chambers and palaces while flesh

melts from skull and bone, drips to the ground

to be lapped up

by these foreign hounds and handmaidens,

perhaps to be reincarnated in another bloom.

Taylor Gray Moore was born in Vancouver, Canada, in 1992 and has lived there for most of his life. He attended McGill University, where he obtained a B.A. in English Literature. His work has previously appeared in Graphite Publications, Pulp Magazine and the Spadina Literary Review.

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