“The Moon of a Moon is a Moonmoon” by Chera Hammons

Chera Hammons


This is the algebra of language: wordmath.
Try it. An ebb and flow of sweetness: honeymoon.
Childhood: the head covering of someone
who is still discovering what to forget.
The friend of my friend is my friendfriend.

Sorry, bad example; the second friend is silent.
There but not there. Something implied, imagined.
Like how yesterday I told students
Kill your darlings! But don’t bury them.
And somehow they knew that what I meant
is that redundancy can be as efficient as resurrection.
Though there was no real danger; we killed nothing.

When the moon appears in a lake,
it means it has dropped low enough for you to wade into.
If you want. The moon is blank as a mirror.
It doesn’t mind if you reflect in its reflection.

Foreshadowing: darkness that walks in front of you.
Slumlord: the god of not-enough.

If you are male, you are man, you are he,
I am fe. I am wo. I am s.
The plural and the possessive. The hiss
of air escaping from a tire. Tired.

Think about this: the enemy of my friend
could still be my friend,
but probably isn’t.

Is there any better way to say
that one can orbit a body that orbits another body?
That gravity ties us to each other?
And that other bodies orbit us?

—No, it seems we have finally run out of words.
Now removing the spaces between them
is the only way to make something new.

I say I am the daughter of my father.
I say I am the daughter of my mother, too.

from Poets Respond
October 14, 2018


Chera Hammons: “This week, it was posited that a moon belonging to another moon be called a ‘moonmoon.’ The reaction on social media was mixed, with some praising the name’s simplicity and childlike sound, and others complaining that it was lazy and not creative enough.” (web)

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