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Moon Eclipse

ISSUE:  Autumn 1976
Your hands that shook me
out of sleep
were the pale reach
of a father who owned
the boy stalking my dreams.
All the windows leaked gray light
and things were not
as they should be: cherry trees
bloomed dust,
the sidewalk was a sluice.
Your lap was slate
and breath slid by my ear
to blow out the moon,
The pipes knocked once.
A voice explained the sun.

Now another night bleeds
through its distant wound.
Voices in a city street
wear masks beneath my window where I sit and wait
in my naked flesh
for darkening.
    She breathes
far behind me in our bed.
The smoking chimney of a neighbor house
is the mocking gnomon of my time.
I’ve walked on the moon
and trod it down.

    and no one holds me
now. I own a child
who sees the crisp edge of my flight;
my hands shake only air
where there is nothing to forgive.

The ball you threw too hard
rolled under the bushes
and we gave up looking for it.
Your skin burned at the beach
so you stayed home.
I think in a dark night
I saw you walk in circles
on the lawn
    and would not let you
hold me when I woke from the bad dreams.
Always the light was behind us.

I watched the backyard sink. The house of gables faded,

all the flowers turned black.
Obsidian as Egyptian statues
we waited for the doors to swing back.
I felt the hinges in your heart.
I slept

and woke to this dream
old father
where an alabaster disk
like webbed fingers held to light
shines with the interference of our blood.


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