Monday, July 20, 2009

Blowing out Candles on the Moon

When my parents were celebrating
my fourth birthday
men landed on the moon for the first time
Now this doesn't seem amazing
now in the time of ipods
and cell phones and text messaging
but this was the time of
post cards and maps you had to unfold
giant tvs
you couldn't pop popcorn in the microwave
and Lennon was still alive

Aldrin noted the moon smelled like ash, wet ash
like sticking your head in a fireplace after it rained.
He left his footprint there
and while looking down, down at us here
down where my parents where making
plans, buying cake one of those cakes
with the clown head in the center
While I was learning the alphabet
while my mother was making women beautiful
and my father working two jobs to buy a house
while my brother two years behind me,
my constant companion, was stealing some of
my limelight;
men were looking down
from the mysterious moon

There are billions of galaxies each with a billion stars
some days the stars collide and others
rot there for a million years like all of us.
Having been to the cemetery recently to leave flowers,
the grass under my feet brown from the heat
I thought about last winter with the piles and piles
of snow, frozen earth, ice over snow
shoveling every day, thinking about the next time
I'd have to shovel the driveway with no end
The burial place now littered with flowers and little notes
would be desolate, ice and snow so you couldn't even
find a place to put flowers and I knew that the bones of my parents
their parents, my uncles and even the little baby
my grandmother buried here were below me
and while the idea of being near was comforting
how I'd like to dig and dig and dig and just lie on my
mother's casket and whisper to her
it's been so long I don't even remember her voice
maybe down there an echo of her would whisper back to me

When I drove off from that place, I knew I didn't want to be there
even under the shade tree, near the towering
marble angel

I will donate my body to science
I want them to tear me apart, use what they want
like a thanksgiving day turkey
and when they've picked the bones clean
take the rest and make it ash
and Suze will take it with her where she goes
down to the Lake House by the river
where the logs bang up against the the rocks
where we held cigarettes in our lips
and pretended to be cool girls who smoke
and she can throw me to the wind
and I'd land in the water on a fish
and swim and swim and swim

She'd take me home, to the place where my
father and I planted trees that are now so big
you can't hug them so your fingers touch
and she'll leave some there
the place we drove by as a child with my father
our mother in the long black car ahead of us
seeing her garden for the last time
Suze will leave parts of me there so my Dad knows where to find me

She will drive up by Northwestern where we went a thousand times
when the world was overwhelming and she had a boy
she needed to tell me about and I had a secret to share with her
the place where she first told me she was moving
She will take the last pinch of me and toss me out the window
right where the turn meets the lake on Sheridan road
thankful the green beast we used to drive is sitting
rusted in some junk yard children looking for change
under the seat

That last part of me will fly up through the cloud cover
and maybe to the moon where the others are waiting
watching down
all us ashy souls watching and wondering
when the next brave man will enter our atmosphere
leave a step on the moon moving her in mysterious circled orb
keep us company as we stare down at the bright blue marble.

You can always reach me at and my work

1 comment:

balanced. said...

I'm speechless.

Beautiful, Carrie.