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