no one knows the moon's birthday is tonight
not even her. she goes about her duties
as usual. combs the hair of every field.
sets tea lights in lovers' chests. strums ribs
like mandolin strings. eats a handful
of galaxy light & licks her fingers clean.
in the oceans her reflection stares back at her
like a phantom self with its own yearnings
& its own needs. centuries ago,
she used to dream, like a mermaid, of legs.
any legs would do but she especially enjoyed
the movements of millipedes & salamanders.
while the sun is responsible for administering exitictions
the moon is charged with the elegies.
she has sung so many reptiles & insect to sleep.
writes their names on slips of light
then hiding that light under rocks
of her surface. tonight she gives a lat lullaby
to two un named insects of the deep amazon.
she sheds two tears which glow gasoline kalideoscope.
if she knew it was her birthday
she would likely only invite venus because
venus has no moons & has always secretly
wanted the moon for herself. it is best
to be wanted desperately. the other planets
know their birthdays & usually celebrate
by wishing on the sun. they plead the wish
all day hoping for his ear.
he's never granted a wish yet & doesn't plan to.
still, he wants the moon to wish like everyone else.
knows he isn't powerful enough
to make dreamings tangible. just craves to know
what the moon might want. she no longer yearns
for animal limbs but maybe water. maybe she would ask
"i would like to trade places with an ocean."
but it is only a migratory thought.
like so many creatures, the moon treats her desires
as passing boats. onward to another stop.
she is older than anyone could count.
celebration is out of the question for
a being of her age so she sits. imagines rows
of dinner plates. tonight she is a mother
who sets the table each night. her children
are patient & quiet. she wants to touch
her own face. watches all the fingers on earth.
earth, what a busy structure. she lays
on her back & watches sun spots until
the night is over & it is no longer her birthday.