Longer than Night Anyhow
I look at your body, sharing the moonlight
and all the life the moon’s glow cannot fuel
between our skin. Like plants, we need sun
In Norway, villagers six months without sun
install mirrors against cold mountains, capturing
warmth on their faces. Thermocline phytoplankton stretch through water for photons, wanting
what’s already around them. Can they see possibility?
Plant leaves fold into themselves at night
not wanting to depend on fractures of light —
or is it just me hovered over a notebook
hopeful I’ve done enough to float / freely
into the bloom of my heart? Wild olives
produce millions of flowers, but few blossom
to swell in spiced oil. Six months without sunlight
seems a vulnerable dedication. Is that love?
More sap moves through trees as the moon
waxes, slows as it wanes. What goes
unseen: the moon is 15% as strong as sun —
light! Olive leaves do all they can to hold
what water reaches them. Maybe love is closer
to photosynthesis. Pulling molecules center,
saying it’s biology to want to organize together,
or me again interpreting dawn into need
and yet olive trees stay green all year —
and yet there are a few ripe fruit —
and the sunlit mirrors warm who wait beside them.
and then it is spring.
A multi-genre writer and educator, Juliana Roth is the creator of the web series, The University, which follows the bureaucratic failures of a university in the aftermath of a sexual assault on campus. Essays, poetry, and stories by Juliana have appeared or are forthcoming in Entropy, VIDA Review, Irish Pages, The Atticus Review, Reckoning, Yemassee, among other publications.