Alla Luna (a lunar cycle)

Last summer
we lived
on the planet
of purest sadness
looking at people
in the streets
like aliens –
looking at each day
as if it were the last.
We spoke to the moon
without words,
without hope.

        *

There was a blue pool
in the sky.
We liked swimming
up there when the moon
and some stars
floated in the water.
You had to be careful
not to butterfly
through a cloud
or dog paddle
into the universe.

        *

What was the deal last summer?
We were surrounded
by sky in all directions.
If it wasn’t dawn over the lake
it was dusk over the buildings.
Not to mention lightning,
orbiting sky furniture
like stars, planets,
then examining the moon
through your telescope.
All we ever did
was try to sit still
holding our breath
watching the heavens
for a sign.

        *

Oh really –
let’s all gaze at the moon
and have a nervous breakdown
since life stinks.
I was looking at the lake sideways,
my head on a pillow
wishing and wishing
you would get better.
The moon went blurry:
space-garbage sneering
at me and my sadness.

        *

A year ago
I stood at the window
high in the sky crying.
I focussed my father’s telescope,
saw lunar mountains, craters, valleys.
‘Well moon,’ I said,
‘How can I ever be happy again
when my father is disappearing
to a place I can’t visualise?’
Luna, I watched you change
all summer into a harvest moon
just before he died.

        *

If you were still
in this solar system
we’d be e-mailing
comet sightings
to each other like crazy
and you’d have flipped
watching Hale-Bopp
through your skyscraper windows
on Sheridan Road.
But now I guess
you’re some kind of asteroid yourself
travelling to wherever.
Great timing, Jack.
You’re missing everything.