September 16, 2013

Walter Bargen


for Robert Bly

Decades ago he cried,
“No more poems about the moon!”

Torn from its branch,
the moon waned for a couple of weeks.

Summer nights, a magnesium-bright
flare troubled his memory.

No wished-on, bottom-of-the-sky, dreamy coin.
No lover’s mercurial suffering.

For years, he drank fifths of hard light
wrapped in brown bags.

Empties crowded the closet.
He staggered moonstruck across the page.

He’s at it again, declaring the stars a loss.
Chicken Little, he’s down on his knees.

He watches the tides trapped in a sidewalk.
He watches sand make a jailbreak to another universe.

He follows a nervous column of ants
along a crack to the next moon.

from Rattle #20, Winter 2003

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