How did I lose track of the moon?
Living as I do in a place with no streetlights,
a place dark as the inside of my eyelids,
black as the bottom of a burnt pot.
You used to call me, and I’d run out to see the full moon,
a silver hubcap wobbling at the top of the hill, or waning,
a slice of melon ripe as any in the field.
Some nights I’d wake on my own,
my bed lit white and wonder
what my Swedish ancestors feared
when they said, “Don’t let the moon
shine on you when you’re sleeping.”
If I rise then, go into the kitchen for a glass of water,
the moon follows and I realize the danger—
I might wander off looking for something I lost,
something I loved, something that won’t
come around again.
Call me melancholy,
I’ve been called worse.
The moon knows life leans
and fattens, one part joy,
two parts loss, and our job
is to make it come out even.
Maybe it was just a long month of cloud cover.
Maybe it was because your house burned down
and you moved. Or maybe I just forgot
how much I needed to see it—
pizza pan, squashed balloon,
thin edge of a dime
ONCE UPON A SPACETIME
a couple of hours before twilight
a gibbous moon rose in the east
over the serpentine spine of the mountain,
a bright hole in a bluegrey scrim
just there without reason,
as uncomplicated and expected
as a shard of granite on the slope of a talus,
as common as the little moons that rise
above the cuticles of each finger
of your familiar hands, as singular,
as sure as the hidden sun it mirrors
and I wondered at what the ancients thought
as it appeared and disappeared
regular as breath, opulent as a third eye,
as crisp as the feel of a January breeze
slapping my cheek as I cross the bridge
from here to there. I’m as stupefied
as they must have been,
even though I’ve been told this bright hole
is no more than dust and rock
tethered by a wrinkle in space
which holds it in a groove of time
like a stylus spiraling in black vinyl
sending mute tunes,
hushed as the sure breath
that billowed from our mouths
as we threw row cover
over the kale