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To the Moon on the Subject of Darkness
by Lois P. Jones

      If anyone ever addressed you, it was with a breathless
      "where are you going?" —Rilke

I have been waiting
and now you appear
between the yew's branches
luminous as a man
who has seen the edge
of the universe. I've missed you
and asked questions
of everything white:
frost birch and fog,
an egret feather that fell
into the palm, even snow's
possibility of rumor,
but night moved
to the riverbed
and stood nude and mute
in its shadow.

The sky, like me, emptied too,
but for a few stars
who dared to tell
you were the same moon
who made a mirror
of yourself in the white
petaled Rowan, who sheltered
the poet as he slept
in the cradle
of the Sphinx. The one
who lit Buddha's face
as he realized nothing
is ever lost
in the universe.

The last time I saw you,
you were waning gibbous,
floating east as a daydream
in blue. Like Orion
I have learned to wait. I let go
this belt of stars.


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