All sorts of moons are
running clockwise laps
around the celestial track
tonight, panting in the cold.
Moons, some close to home;
others, stretched beyond conception of distance.
Fat round moons and sliver moons.
Moons dreaming nomad dreams.
Lonely moons, many-siblinged moons,
iridescent and amaranth moons,
moons like vast wheels of cheese,
cheddar and colby and pecorino.
Moons skittering out from under
Jupiter's baleful red gaze,
and moons couched
in Saturn's icy girth.
Moons that are not moons.
Moons that wanted to be
supernovas, or quasars,
or squat red dwarf stars.
Hidden moons and weary moons.
Moons turning a dark cheek
on the entire cosmos.
Dying, splintered moons.
Moons that wobble like
a drunken pitcher's knuckleball.
Moons of flaxen radiance,
calling out for the harvest.
Moons overfed on nothingness.
Moons unformed in other moons,
waiting to be chiseled free, just as
Adonis emerged from the marble slab.
And, once in a great while,
a moon exactly like this one:
a jovial little fellow
who knows his own mind,
content with tugging the tides
this way and that, like a monk
raking his stone garden;
a droll lunar gentleman
who finds the whole bunched-up
significance of the universe
so funny that you can almost
make out (on a clear night)
the teeth of his crinkled grin,
the twilight glinting
from somewhere in his
deeply cratered eyes.
Christopher Apfelbach's Other Poems
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