THE MOON HANGS HER SKATES
The moon hangs her skates like her first and last crescents
around her shoulders
and goes down to the pond like a mirror alone
and mistakes your wrists for a skating rink.
And I am gored on the horns of a silence I never suspected.
It’s sidereally dumb to hold your breath like the wind on the moon
and wait for a sail that will never come
as if it were spring in a turmoil of apple-bloom.
And you could look at a coffin
and see a skull in a lifeboat I suppose,
but if it is, like a human,
it’s a one-string guitar with a spinal cord
tethered to the waves,
and it’s not going anywhere
and the only song it knows is sad.
And even if space isn’t a reliable guide to anywhere,
it’s the way I took, dropping stars as I went
and it’s the way I’ll go back like a defrocked priest
wrapped in my spirit
like a cloak of soot
older than night
to put them out.
Everyone knows there are things
hidden in the darkness,
savage things and tender,
but it takes a man without eyes
to hazard a guess
at what the light conceals,
and to reveal a lie
isn’t the same as grasping the truth.
So it hardly seems worth it most of the time.
Most people are mangers without a star
that run around like mad messiahs
with fishy collection bowls
to keep the light from leaking through the roof
but if you ever need to know where you are
it’s the road you didn’t take
that walked you here
just as it’s always a star beyond lucidity
that makes things clear.