ATTENDING A 12-STEP MEETING AFTER LEARNING THAT RUST HAS GROWN ON THE MOON
If rust can grow on the moon’s surface,
240,000 miles away from oxygen,
if solar wind can traverse that vacuum,
confounding scientists, turning red the crust
of such a scarred and lonesome celestial body,
maybe I am capable of more than I think.
Maybe everything I need for alchemy
is already here, in my core and cells,
in this room where other addicts sit alive
against all odds, Styrofoam cups in our hands
filled with bad coffee, steam rising like nebulae.
If you examine your own hands closely
and in good light, you will see that the sheath of you,
the tools you were born with, resemble the surface
of a planet, their fragile ropes braided
with moon dust: a strange landscape of prayer.
Every small object, even you, is unknown.
Did you know it’s impossible to see earth
from even the closest star?
As our craters turn red, we remain fastened
to each other, evening after evening.
God is a vague notion that anything is possible.
So many stars hang blindly in the universe,
holding on, until they no longer can.
—from Poets Respond
September 13, 2020