Someone's Been Eating the Moon Again

Someone's been eating the moon again,
so only a beautiful curve remains,
a single light still burning in the
black palace, smile of a Cheshire sky.
Dried-up cheerful streets go through
the neighborhoods. Inside the dark and
silky black, up through the box hedge,
a flop-eared weed, glittering with frost.
In summertime, it's birds and green
impostors mainly, everything falls open
in the light and crams it in and the wind
has harmless whispers for the grass. The flavor
comes to things again and makes them fat
and sleepy and the nights are black and
stubborn and preoccupied like a solitary
bee inside the flowers rising from
the sage on swaying bones that rise
in a day. Then winter's in the yard.
Two big drowsy weeds stay back, stray
paper flaps a minute on a fence and
disappears, a wind in what was
clover, dill, and violets investigates
the change, the starlings hang around to see
if this is permanent and everything
prepares to close again just like a fist.

Inside, in the rain of hard
fluorescence, a man in a melancholy
blazer orders a biscuit. All around him
voices sing My Mashed Potato Baby, an old
song that still sounds good to him
and everyone else in here. There's a dance
of dizzy angels on a slice of toast
and tiny beings turn and spin inside
the chairs and manufactured flowers rise
in a permanent way in a vase that's like
a TV lady when the lights come on, smiling
in her armor of cute. In 1956, the wind
ran through the tiny yards unnoticed,
they hung a light to represent
the moon, they taught us the road
to heaven and fed us ham with a circle
of pineapple. We kept our stains to ourselves
and imagined a city elsewhere with singing
late at night, Jaguars and murders,
a silky night lit by the luminous curve
of something naked and white.

Robert Gregory | Mudlark No. 17
Contents | Rain the Modifier