Kimberly Ramos: “Eight Ways Of Looking at the Moon,” “o body! o omen! ,” “Rabbits, Flames, Mirrors”

Kim Ramos writes:“Eight Ways of Looking at the Moon” was a poem I wrote during my time at Truman for one of Dr. Benevento’s poetry classes. I still think it is one of my stronger pieces from undergrad. “o body! o omen!” was previously published in Red Noise Collective, but I retain rights to the poem, if you are comfortable with re-publishing it. I include it because I think it is one of my stronger poems, and it only exists because Dr. Benevento encouraged me to write more about my family. I was inspired by his After poems, which are so autobiographical, precise, and nearly prose. “RABBITS, FLAMES, MIRRORS” is a sister piece to a previously published nonfiction piece, “Implications of Ghosts” in Reservoir Literary Review. I include this one because Dr. Benevento liked “Implications of Ghosts,” and this piece is similar in style and structure. 



Eight Ways Of Looking at the Moon


I. Formation

Some think the moon was born out

of a geological kiss between two mothers,

a clashing of lips.

Others think it built itself alongside

the earth, like a younger sister mimicking

an older sibling.

Or maybe it took one look at Earth

and decided to elope.


II. Lunar Maria

Lake of Softness settled near my soles

and Marsh of Sleep between my brows.

Bay of Love and Bay of Roughness,

one in each hand.

Lake of Dreams along my sixth rib.

Sea of Serenity overlapping

waves with Sea of Crises.


III. Space

The moon loves best

at a distance.


IV. History

Hit me hard enough

and I’ll turn to volcanic glass, the impact

shattering my kneecaps.

All my old bruises turn orange,

fermented memories.

Upon discovery, the Apollo 17 astronauts

could not believe the color.


V. Phases

The moon is called a celestial body

even though it is pockmarked with scars,

covered in craters.

It is loved when it is a sleep-heavy sliver

and when it is a glistening eye.


Its ivory fingers reach into the water

and pull in the tides.


VI. Gravity

The moon is drawn to things larger than itself,

and it does not resent this desire.


VII. Myth

The moon is home to droves of silken rabbits.

The moon is a hologram hanging

in the sky, projected from deep beneath the earth.

The moon is a loving goddess.

The moon is a small white pill of lunacy.

The moon hears girls singing

and loves the slow curls of shower steam rising.


VIII. Thief

I siphon off light from other bodies—

I don’t have enough of it in me.

I was not born bioluminescent,

my dullness is inherent,

but when I touch light I make it

soft, silver, silent,

and in the perfect dusk I paint the leaves.



o body! o omen!

(previously published in Red Noise Collective)

we are a women : with the superstition stitched in : my auntie’s hands hover over my cousins’

knees : says, if this tickles, it means you’re boy crazy : we close our eyes and hold our breaths :

as her fingernails sunburst from the centers of our knee bones : o body, do not betray me : o

body, bury the boy somewhere I cannot find him : today my teacup breaks into six pieces : a

porcelain portent of wreckage to come : some six days : before I take that boy to bed : o body,

turn your clothes inside out : before you wander the forest : o body, do not dream of water : that

ocean-omen of pregnancy : all night my bed floods : with a name that ends in waves crashing : in

the morning, my mother places : the virgin’s silver medallions : on every door knob : o lady of

manaoag : bless me as I kneel : o lady of manaoag : let me kiss your tender heel : the difference

between a saint and a ghost : is a matter of opinion : more and more, I think I am the white sheet

between them : o new year : o lucky red underwear : when my lola gives us cousins wallets : she

places a dollar in each one : an auger of affluence : the leather someday full and fat with riches :

I place coins under my tongue : my hands clasped : knuckles like salt hills : praying for the same



Rabbits, Flames, Mirrors

In the year of the rabbit, my sister-flame girl-twin travels back to the Heartlands. She takes all

my butane, all my lighters, tapes ‘em up in boxes labeled careful: indestructible.

In the year of the rabbit, I’m left with snapped matches and a hard kernel of phlegm in my chest.

The winter gets greedy with the heat that leaks from my body—without her car, I travel foot by

ice-encrusted foot.

In the year of the rabbit, I drink fire and fruit at gauzy bars stinking of cigarette breath. I’ve got a

hot red mouth, the same one as her. Cherry black lipstick and hair that floats like smoke against

the bedsheets.

In the year of the rabbit, I take a boy home, have him smell the sweet smolder of my fingers. He

doesn’t know I’ve still got the skin-singe of her name on my temple, the slow peel of angry skin,

flaking off like ashes, like soot.

In the year of the rabbit, she comes to me like a firework-burst in the dark hours: the pink

spiraled candles dripping down saccharine-dense pancakes, the charred wooden incense she

pressed into my jeans pocket.

In the year of the rabbit, I mourn the summer shoulders we were supposed to toast-glow,

afternoons we would’ve spent topless and sun-seared, our hands mimicking the combust-touch

of boys we were sure we loved. I mourn the sunscreen-slicked glare of our backs. I mourn the

mirror-glint, our swimsuits melting like wax.

In the year of the rabbit, I dream of gunpowder, caustic spirits, anything that burns long and foul.

The tell-tale char of something just put out, its heat-body still curling in the air.

In the year of the rabbit, I am learning that light cannot be caught—I go around hugging lamps,

dark but still hot.




Kimberly Ramos is a queer Filipina writer from Southern Missouri. After earning a BA in Philosophy & Religion and a BFA in Creative Writing at Truman State University, they moved to Providence, Rhode Island, to study philosophy at Brown University (whatever that means). They have been published in Southern Humanities Review, Lantern Review, and The Nashville Review, among others. They are nearly one fourth of the way to becoming a ghost. In 2023, Kim will welcome two chapbooks from Unsolicited Press and Flume Press. This may or may not be the result of a deal with the mythical Tikbalang. You can read more of their work at