Kamilah Aisha Moon

To Théma, Almost Two Years after Your Burial

I don’t know their names

& they don’t know yours,

though your flesh is now

of their flesh as a donor.  


I try not to get angry

at strangers pressing too close,

choosing kindness just in case

there’s a part of you

brushing by.    What have

your gorgeous, castaway eyes

gifted another to see? 

I must have dined near what remains

of you, faithful organ

thriving in a body

spending your hours, strolling past

milestones you won’t reach.     Your children


play around us, your laugh

inside tiny throats, holding their bodies

the way you held yours

against fading light, letting music enter

& move them alive.  Alive!   Your name 

sweet pepper burning your parents’ tongues,

the spice of you fresh as the day

they brought you home.


In lieu of flowers, this.  Oh cousin,

you know the deepest sacrifice—

being a miracle is far from the glory

of receiving one.  No longer blessed,

you live on as blessing.




“To Théma, Almost Two Years after Your Burial” first appeared in Colorado Review (2107) and is from Starshine & Clay (Four Way Books, 2017).