The dead slept beneath the rising moon.
In the small house beside the cemetery, the pastor lay awake in bed, moonlight streaming like mist
through the window. He wondered whether the dead could dream, and what they might dream about.
He wondered if his wife ever dreamt of him, as he did of her, on the nights when he was blessed with
In the church next door, a woman huddled between the pews, fighting off the desert chill. Moonlight
washed the pain off her face, and she gazed numbly at the distant adobe ceiling, reading invisible
glyphs. She didn’t think about her husband, his fists, his violent kisses. She didn’t think about anything,
really—just willed the sleep to come. It never came.
Down the well-worn dirt road, in the angular adobe with the busted roof, a little boy sat beneath the
window in his bedroom, silver threads of moonlight illuminating the text of his favorite book. Heart
pounding, eyes wide, he watched a pirate sword-fight careen through the translucent, moon-drowned
darkness. Entranced, he heard the clash of cutlasses, the swish of fast-thrust swords. In the morning,
his mother would complain that a coyote had gotten into the garbage cans again, and he would wonder
how the noise of it hadn't woken him.
Far, far away—or perhaps quite nearby—beneath opalescent clouds like god-sized brushstrokes, the
mountains smiled, because there would be rain tomorrow. The mountains couldn't sleep from the
excitement of it all: their stone faces glowed and rippled in anticipation.
A man with a crooked nose and a camera stood on the edge of town. He couldn’t sleep because the
world was too beautiful. The moon shone watchfully like a lens, as though God were taking a picture.
The dead slept beneath the rising moon, while the living, lived
Carly Gordon is a South Florida native in the fourth year of her oboe performance degree at the Eastman