Man on the moon
as well as in the moon.
I watched the televent
in a suffocating Texas classroom while
Neil Armstrong descended a ladder
onto a shiny surface in a
taking earth’s atmosphere with him.
A rabbit in the moon but not on the moon –
lucky to be sucked up into that brilliance.
Soft foot stroking the cheek of my childhood.
Someone back in Mission Control
in a supercool room squawked MCC here.
And Buzz following next –
a real 50s name for a real 60s moment
Michael Collins had to stay behind
and above in orbit not to be
captivated by rock and dust.
Stolen silver brilliance again
in your departure gone
shunting moonlight through a vein
day eating up the night
beside me on the pillowed now
Reading to the snow geese
the dead are notoriously hard to satisfy
– Jack Spicer
Flying black and white against the sky
the shadow side made light by wave break
beneath their hearts beating too fast
to make wise choices about where to land
They look like paper – an origami design
dressed up in a costume of the real
They shear the wind on the hunt for
Buddha, Lao Tse, and Hermes Trismegistus
They get shooed off the altar all the time
because it is sacred but where then
should they put their feet?
And if the flying dead are not sacred
and scared then who is?
It’s possible we once danced
by the light of the solstice moon,
runcible drunk, hunched over
streetcar tracks to flatten a penny –
the only coin we had to offer
against a thundering weight.
We don’t know whether passion
will be renewed at the same address
where ceiling plaster sprinkled our hair
like crumbly feta, garnish to the salt stink
of pleasure. Can we count on postal carriers
to negotiate a contract for delivery of nothing
but billets doux and arrangements
for assignations at sea? Will the local library
lend us its volumes on love so thigh to thigh
we can sit down again to read instructions
for how to fill an empty vessel?
Will we flip to the page with the pop-up mast
and lash ourselves to it, each siren to the other?
However demented we become, the moon will
shift its light all night on the water
and twist itself into rings we bought
for one flattened penny.