As If the Moment


In a dream of blunt scissors and bifocals, a stranger limps in the shadows, your
desire a grounded bird, your future an upturned collar. The red dirt rises, there’s no code,
as your father paces across the yard. The insects pound their tiny voices against the
swirling air, the ice-age of its intent descending.
Then the crack before the wrong tree falls and the words line up against the
mistake. You wanted a memory, from the inside, the beauty of it like an ugly spore,
nearly overlooked, like the stranger’s unpredictable agenda. Not the moon beautifully
rhyming with its children on the tide, but an oil lamp flickering wildly, hung from the
bow of a fishing boat poled up the channel by drunken poachers.
You feel like you’re the new kid, head too large at the top of the pale careless reach
of your body, nearly human and incomplete. The kind of child so desperate for attention
he experiments in his own brilliant, unlit head. Tonight the nighthawks seem to be living
on stars instead of insects, the blue rooster of night pronouncing light backwards to the
dawn that patiently waits. I didn’t really have a dream, I became one.
The boy strokes his disobedient limbs like submissive pets, guiding the great
limping vessel of their tomorrow across the treacherous stillness. On one side of that wall
is everything we once were and on the other side of the wall is everything we are going to
be. It’s a beautiful wall. There is no wall.
Sunlight unwinds as grass, only another father’s isolation greening in the belated
morning. All those ghosting fathers applaud like breath another waitress moon, a thought
so tentative it disappears before it’s spoken.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.