“That Moon Again” by Stephanie Rogers

yellow for Stephanie Rogers poems
Yellow, by Joyce Polance
So, I'm stuck inside the airport
                   with a Cabernet and a boyfriend 

who won't stop playing 

             Fallout Shelter on his cell phone,
and there's that moon again, 

                 getting all dirty blonde behind 

the clouds, and I can't remember
             the last time I spoke to my father 

before he killed himself with drugs, 

             we think, though the report hasn't
yet arrived, and I hate my aunt 
              who planned his memorial service 

because who ever said I wanted
         that song, "Dance With My Father" 

to play when, honestly, I never 

                danced with him in my whole
boring life, and I can't get 

           the feeling out of my heart that I did 

all the wrong things, like maybe
                being passed out drunk in a cab 

when he called me once, and who knows 

          if that talk might've changed things,
and I just want it all to stop, 

           so I look at that sky, and there I am 

again, a child in Dad’s wiry arms, my mom
            looking on, and isn't she smiling, 

and isn't my anger tamed finally, 

               and isn't the guy who's not yet
my boyfriend somewhere in the universe not 

          playing Fallout Shelter but waiting 

for me to pull my thick bangs back
             with my glasses and rest my head 

on his lap, and when I die will it hurt 

           the way it hurts to know they found
blood on the dishes in my father's 

             apartment, or that he was alone, 

or that the truth is, the last time I saw him
                  was outside that McDonald's 

in Middletown, Ohio where he smoked 

         a cigarette and waved and said, Hey,
Steph, and my heart sank to look at him.


Stephanie RogersStephanie Rogers grew up in Middletown, Ohio and now lives in New York City. She was educated at The Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Ploughshares, Cincinnati Review, Southern Review, Pleiades, Ninth Letter, Copper Nickel, and New Ohio Review, as well as the Best New Poets anthology. Saturnalia Books published her first collection of poems, Plucking the Stinger, in October 2016.