Moonrise Departure, High Andes by Catherine Allen


Mist followed moon rising
filled mountain crevices
like milk.

“Mother Moon,”
you said.
“Moon Day.”

Mist followed moon rising
like unspun wool
trailing from spindles.

“Moon Day,”
you said.
I wept.

Your old hard hand
light as mist
brushed back my hair.

Note: In the Quechua language a clear night of full moon is called killa p’unchay, “moon day.”


CATHERINE ALLEN is an anthropologist residing in Greenbelt, Maryland. She is author of Foxboy: Intimacy and Aesthetics in Andean Stories (University of Texas Press, 2011), a work of creative non-fiction, and co-author of an ethnographic drama, Condor Qatay: Anthropology in Performance (with Nathan Garner, Waveland Press, 1997).