Red Devil by Jessica Moore

Poet: Jessica Moore Poem title: Red Devil Poem: I am climbing this dark  mountain—  that red devil death scuttles close behind.  I hear the clatter of his papier-mâché skeleton jostling, like hooves on hollow rock!  Then suddenly—up ahead (how does he do it, that devil?)—  he vaults from atop a rock slinging his limbs and grinning at me (that ghastly painted grin),  I seize his leg and swing—so hard! His glue-and-paper head smashes on the ground again, and again—  but I cannot break him. I cannot kill that devil death.  If you could see me, you would laugh, not unkind, at me with such determination creasing my brow.  Laugh lines I loved fanning from the edges of your eyes. End of poem. Credits: Copyright © Jessica Moore Previously published in Everything, now (Brick Books, 2012).  Jessica Moore is an author and literary translator. Her first book, Everything, now (Brick Books 2012), is a love letter to the dead and a conversation with her translation of Turkana Boy (Talonbooks 2012) by Jean-François Beauchemin, for which she won a PEN America Translation award. Mend the Living, her translation of the novel by Maylis de Kerangal, was nominated for the 2016 Man Booker International. Jessica’s most recent book—The Whole Singing Ocean (Nightwood 2020)—blends long poem, investigation, sailor slang and ecological grief. She lives in Toronto.