Amanda Moore

Which Came First

your love or the seeds of what destroyed it?


Attracted to her high reckless laugh
that later made you cringe, the way she’d wait
each meal for you—wouldn’t even eat
if you weren’t there or on your way.
The blonde body she revealed
a quarter at a time, never her full naked form:
girth of hips and soft, sweet rise of belly
that seemed to say she’d birth cherubs, roll out
sugar cookie children to melt across your tongue.


It was when she tried just that,
those pulpy messes and the doctors
looking right up between her legs.
It was when the temper she had turned like a torch
in the eyes of those in her way
turned on you, sneaking in the door late and guilty.


As teenagers, you would drive Illinois
back roads to drink beer, make out
and talk about the places you would travel.
All that corn might have looked like future
to the two of you, stretching and vast and topped
with the bit of silk you imagined life grew into.
When the farmers sow those seeds, they cast
so many that never root and grow. I wonder
how you never thought of that.


Amanda Moore’s poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies including ZZYZVA, Cream City Review, Tahoma Literary Review, Best New Poets, and Mamas and Papas: On the Sublime and Heartbreaking Art of Parenting, and she is the recipient of writing awards from The Writing Salon, Brush Creek Arts Foundation, and The Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. She received her MFA from Cornell University, where she served as Managing Editor for EPOCH magazine and a lecturer in the John S. Knight Writing Institute. Currently a Board member of the Marin Poetry Center and 2019 San Francisco Writer’s Grotto Fellow, Amanda is a high school teacher and lives by the beach in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco with her husband and daughter. Her favorite sweet is chocolate covered bananas, preferably the ones from the Twirl and Dip ice cream truck in Golden Gate Park.

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