in the hospital for sick moons
the hallways are paved with ripe rust.
take off your shoes & socks off at the entrance.
you need to remember every texture.
drink water from a hole in the wall.
i used to bring my moon flowers, years ago
when i thought she would improve.
took the elevator up to the building
& tapped on the window to be let inside.
brought her dead daylilies & then
a potted violet. she slept & slept
still as a stone. i still visit now
just empty handed. make fists sometimes
& once i brought a crystal to leave
by her nightstand. the moon doctors wear
ice out of respect for space temperatures.
their faces blurr beneath the surface
& their voices sound like trying to speak
with a wall between you. it is lonely
loving a sick moon. coming to see her
perched in her bed like a beach ball.
i remind her when she used to loom
in the night sky round & full.
how, for all my life, i would look up
at her glow & coiled around a sliver
of future. no one knows why moons
fall ill. there are theories but no evidence.
they do tests on the moon. removed
a fragment of her rock & stare at it.
when the test yields nothing
they give me the piece of her &
i pocket it. feel its weight all day
as the healthy sun blathers on
about fatherhood. i do not know
if the moon will ever be well again.
her slumber only seem to deepen.
where did we go wrong moon? i never seen
a moon leave the hospital. just new ones
arriving from all across the galaxy:
small & ominous & blue & red moons.
the ocean weeps itself higher. the sea level
touches my ankles.
poets take to writing about the clouds
where she used to dangle.
on the elevator down i think about
how i would switch places with her
if i could. let her have skin & a body
& let me lay still while doctors tended
to my surface. does she see us working?
does she look up
at faces behind ice & remember
how she used to swell? i tell her
each time how much she is missed.
i say "get better soon."