E. Thomas Jones

October 31st, 1998

After our mothers turned into coyotes
& tore into the woods, moonlight silvering
their fresh furs, we sat on your porch
& instead of trading candy, traded Pokémon cards
by the light of a jack–o–lantern’s mouth —
an exchange of Eevees & Clefaries, monsters
from the moon — & listened to the melancholy
howls swim above the tree line
with fireflies, pulsing brightly, periodic
match strikes twinkling closer —
until we scattered them, squishing our hands
around your flashlight & beaming
its shivering jawbreaker
at the woods, where our mothers left us,
& were now waiting, cloaked in oak & pine,
the night a sweet, dark promise.

E. Thomas Jones is a poet from Ellijay, GA and a current MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas. She was the recipient of the 2018 Lily Peter fellowship and the 2019 C. D. Wright/Academy of American Poets Prize, is an assistant poetry editor for the Arkansas International, and has been published or has forthcoming publications in Permafrost and Menacing Hedge. She enjoys a slice of banana bread with her coffee.

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