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Trent Walters

O Moon (Coda)

as sung by a dearly departed constellation

Bagford Ballad, No.2
The man on the moon drinks clarret,
But he is a dull Jack-a-Dandy;
Would he know a sheep’s head from a carrot,
He should learn to drink cyder & brandy
--Folio Collection in the British Museum, vol. ii, No. 119

This morning, his final hours
on the moon, the unknown
scop, drunk on claret for lack of cider
and Brandy, his first love (yet she was
nothing compared to she who filled
his dreams, his skies). The noble
indefinite nameless hunter
and pecked on his keyboard these
senseless operatic overtures to sense, like flesh-
crawling wolf howls to gather at the heedless,
headless sheep herd and the much anticipated
honeymoon. How anxious he was,
new born to walk the green cheese of dreams,
to kick up clouds of her nearly absolute
zero on the wasteland threshold of his unreal
lucidity, to return to the thick, heavy, monotonous gray
womb of blankets from which he came in

fullest orb. The man on the moon
wavered above the line
of sky, always mammoth, always giant,
always elephantine, an Orion
on the horizon but diminutive up close--never
as big as he’d dreamed. A man
walked on the damn moon! he wondered
at his surprise, as if perpetually under-
water, as if plunged in Earth
water, he probably wouldn’t recognize it as such,
tailoring his perspective to fit her--her! He shouts
incomprehensible, floccinaucinihilipilificastically
splenetic polysyllabics to drop
her from her sphere. Who would waste
money on her when
so much poverty waxed among men

on Earth? Silly boys, of course—silly boys
won’t farm or herd, only hunt and cull; silly boys who orbit
the silly moon; silly boys with deteriorated
muscles from a cruel
lack of gravity. In the bulky suit
of conditioned air, alone
he pondered the purpose of an impossible:
what he would say under her
water: “How you’ve grown;
so beautiful pale is your frail moonlit flower.”

Was there water on the moon?
Yes but locked in stone,
not like the lake’s. She rose
over it in her gleaming
sickle--a silver sheen cast
over his dark wood enveloping
his typing room. Beneath her,
an illusive twin budded off in the shimmering
deformity of ripples--a secret society of
two that gathered at midnight to perjure ghost
stories of all the lovely moonshine & moony
loving they get each & every night: “Let’s found
a feminist matriarchy on the moon. No boys allowed
to ogle us floating around in the buff. Why, with its monthly
rotations, timely ebb & flow, we are all
daughters united under Paradise by the semblance
within. What do you think of our resolution
on the Moon Treaty?” But nothing came of it as the twin’s
illusion was shattered by the prickly conifers that came
between. She casts wan light
into the clearing, lofting high the eerie glow of a cold
glare: a candle, its smoke so black
& thick that it took a strong gust of solar
wind for the light to penetrate. She periodically
molts anew, giving birth once every blue
moon. Upon spotting her, he

ran, wisps of dry sand flew up behind in a mock
wave that held nothing on the pull she had
though her lazy scent
of pheromones had ebbed with the waning
of time. She gobbled a fortnight, so bloated as to be
hung motionless, gorged on... what?
What did moons consume? carrots? claret? something
available on a cyclic-basis? was she cyclic
in eating, drinking, or…? A cloud passed

across her face & drew his attention. She expanded,
slowly at first, gaining momentum. She ballooned past
the point he could take in the entirety of her
laughing face & the rocket that jutted out of one
eye. Her face mere inches from his. His breath stirred her
glittering gray-gold dust, eddying
indecisive: whether to remain
on her or fall on him. He, too, felt the tug
of opposing forces--what impact
two bodies would have on one
another so close. He tried so hard
to scream, but fear squeezed
the breath shut. Cold dust prickled his mask.
“She’s going to crash!” He pointed,
followed his finger, & she
laughed from outside
his window--minus
one rocket. “That boy’s nowhere

to be found. Probably off
visiting the moon. A dreamer, he is
afraid,” his mother said, uncertainly, “of the moon.” Is it true?
Yes. The virgin huntress & goddess, Artemis, has
slain Orion, the once giant

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