Saturday, March 6, 2010

Man On The Moon

I like to walk when the world is sleeping and when I do
I take my cat Leroy with me
He's the fattest cat in this damned town
and when we walk in the winter
I always pick nights when the moon is full
when the light glitters off the snow
it fills the air with a certain magic

And on a particular night not long ago
I felt a bit of star dust settle in my lungs, a poem in my head
and a song in my step
and I knew this morning was an event
something was in the air the way you can
smell a rainstorm in the summer even before
you hear the boom of thunder

Before me was a moon man, The man who lived there
when I couldn't let my mind bend around the idea
I deposed him, listening but not seeing his eyes
in the helmet that made him look like a bug
He told me stories of the cow jumping
and he knew where the dish and the spoon were
in fact he dined with them on occasion
and always took very old single malt in a fine crystal decanter

We walked there together my breath making smoke signals in the night
and his steaming up his helmet so that he had
to take my hand to find his way until my way was his way
and our way and when I stumbled he picked me up
and I rested in the strength of the moment
I wondered how one lived alone, careful not to use the word lonely
as it conjures thoughts of social misfitism and I knew better
In a crowd one could feel alone without a commonality of spirit
and still feel quite loved

The man who lived on the moon explained being alone
that he liked his own company and he was a man of science
and duty and when he felt alone, when he tired of the view
he came here to walk in the early morning careful not to wake a soul
he didn't step on the flowers in my garden, never even took a tomato with him
but when we were still I knew he had been here before
the strange rocks he'd leave behind, and of course
the footprints of the big boots
and what joy I took in the idea that he found respite in the flowers
smelling the herbs and I pictured him taking off the giant
gloves to put sage between his hands and rub the way I do
when I want to feel close to the earth and know its secrets

I knew there were things about us alike as I was at ease
and I am seldom at ease
when we wound up back in my garden we just lingered there
for a few moments or for a few years
and I thought to ask him in
before he pointed to my window, my periwinkle room
"I make sure the light shines through that window so I can watch you sleep"
he whispered to me in hushed tones
and then he said "I must go, sweet baby"
and I was trapped there in the moment and thought at least this time
he said goodbye

In my hands this giant glove and I couldn't resist
and in the fashion of letting me love him the way I want to love him
I slipped it off and held his hand warm in mine
pressed it to my chest wanting gravity to pull him into me
"I saved the message" that's all I had to say about that because
maybe he already knew I listened to it a thousand times
and every time he said sweet baby I'd have to push down the lump
in my throat until it just stayed there
I saved it because I needed it there like the cold pillow on my bed
I never knew when I'd reach for it, at 3am, in the afternoon when my throat was raging
when I woke in the morning you see
I never knew when I needed to put my head at ease and there it was
even in absence taking care of me and the moon

I couldn't remember if he'd been gone ten days, ten weeks or ten years
my pride wouldn't let me plead my case
If he took off the helmet I'd know for sure
only one in 600 or so people have one blue eye and one brown
but faith isn't knowing for sure or they wouldn't call it faith
and right then I wanted a pocket full of faith
and I do right now
Finally I could say "I left a few messages"
he shook his head and asked me
where I wanted his hand
on my left hip, of course
and N will always stand for knowledge
and I could hear the laughter that sounded like thunder
when the ground is so dry you'd fall in its cracks
He told me he dreamt of me and I wanted to believe him
so I did
My heart was beating out Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5
so loud he could hear it and he pulled me close
and we danced there a moment
and I didn't ask
and he didn't reply
because sometimes life really is an Egyptian opera
sung in Italian, it's just that strange

Now and then love sneaks in when you aren't looking
or finally when you are
Miracles happen even when you don't plan for them
and if all of love were judged in a walk
when the whole world was asleep
when there were only two lovers
then they would have to write of this morning
that we loved each other not in a lifetime
but in stolen moments
nobody really gazes upon a flower blooming
we just assume it does in quiet moments
when the sun is loving it when a cool breeze coaxes it along
when the moon man kisses it
and it's open for the world to see
in colors so brilliant, unafraid
you'll wait out the melting snow
just to see it again
and again
and again
Goodnight Sweet Baby, goodnight

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