Poetry Collection by Amanda Hiland
No one is alone
in a graveyard. The dead shiver through its sod.
They make up all of dark matter-
without them, galaxies would fly apart, their stars
too weak to fuse hydrogen into helium.
Dark matter cannot be seen.
It can only be sensed indirectly,
like the weight of your mother’s words
following you through life.
That’s how we know it’s there:
its impact makes it matter.
Through the sieve of generations,
the dead remind us life will never be
the same thing twice. They are a constant
singularity whose name is
The vacancy of absent things
is the most abundant form
Harvest Moon Eclipse
Copper rose, it bathes in the sky
like a rounded persimmon
hanging ripe upon the starlit branches
of the Milky Way.
Sun at perfect opposition;
the far side of earth braces in its light
while we look up
to see light’s negation
spread across the surface of our satellite
like a tide of rust.
In time, our planet shifts its stance
and the moon glides past our shadow;
a corner of pale gold peels at its edges,
revealing the brightening creature beneath.
Breathless, we watch as light unravels
into our eyes and fills us with desire-
we want to hold the moon, to touch
that lost terrain, torn from earth long before
her waters ever dreamed of life.
Across such distance
we press our hands to our chests, grasp
the base of our throats,
as if the moon were a brilliant pendant
that could rest perfectly
in the space between our clavicles.
what calls from below
deep cold of winter, everything
submerged under snowdrift
my bones icicles
encased in swaying strands of flesh
over the doorway the darkest
maw of earth
to hear voices of holy legends
ringing out from below
call my name, you dead laugh
you are there below
you can move your lips you are more
than pieces branches and twigs
stuffed into sightless
lockers below where dull sounds echo
like slow chaos
from stone to stone
from behind, sudden press
of a body
my oldest friend her black
-ringed head leans
past my shoulder tilts
over the doorway bare
forehead pressed to wintery shadow
she trickles forward down
I hold out
my curling hand pulse beats
tangled in carpal bones
at me her mouth full of spirits
grey-skinned coat of her face
than the lightest of bones
eyes centered on my
pulsing artery where life comes in
why are you afraid of the dark?
she doesn’t wait for me
to find her voice
her body makes a rushing sound
burrows into blackened loam
in my shaded eyes
it sounds like
the beginning of flight
or a fallen pine
crushing against the ground
About the Author
Amanda Hiland grew up hiking through the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Raised in Oregon, she is very fond of colored pens, chai tea, and rain. She teaches Special Education by day and is a major astronomy enthusiast at night. Her poetry has appeared in outlets such as Topology Magazine, Timberline Review, Avocet, Camas, and New Plains Review. Much of her writing stems from the complexity of understanding the surrounding universe through the dual lenses of scientific observation and emotional connection.