Letter to Schwaner from the Toad-Swallowed Moon

Letter to Schwaner from the Toad-Swallowed Moon

Dear Jeff: The glow here betrays our fantasies,

and between day and night and that uncertain

moment when neither holds sway, I have gained

a toehold on consequence. Who knew darkness

could shine so? Last November the surgeon

incised my belly six times but no light oozed

out and little crept in. I say little, but feel

a peculiar radiance emanating from my middle

which I can only attribute to the moon, although

the medical professionals would say it’s just

gas. But what do they know of Sheng-Yu or

Li Ho, of jade wheels and spilled cups? Last

night, to honor our marching sisters, I looked

to the cloud-filled sky and toasted them and

our ancestors, the poets and scapegoats, friends,

allies, compatriots, Five White and Jackboy,

shedding a solitary tear of joy in the process.

We won’t label the other tears, but I shudder

at our country’s current course and how the

bulging wallets of the rich continue swelling

at the expense of the poor and unhealthy,

the elderly, the unacknowledged, and those

living on the fringes, in colored shadows.

If we meet in person on some desolate, moon-

free road in a country that could never be,

how will I know you but from the ghosts and

smiles sparkling in the surrounding fog,

and the little voices singing their sad tune

of happiness into the night. This is where

we stand today, but tomorrow? Look for me

on that bench. I’ll be the full-bellied fellow,

the one with an eclipse leaking from his shirt

in a six-point pattern, two glasses in hand,

wine uncorked, ready for reptiles and politicians,

mirth and causation and good conversation

in brightness or tenebrous calm, whichever

needs replenishing more. But bring another

bottle. Or two. Talking makes me thirsty. Bob.

 

* * *

My poem “Letter to Schwaner from the Toad-Swallowed Moon” was first published at The Hamilton Stone Review in October 2017. Much gratitude to editor Roger Mitchell for taking this piece.

15 thoughts on “Letter to Schwaner from the Toad-Swallowed Moon

  1. Beautifully expressed with great eloquence. I especially love these lines:

    “We won’t label the other tears, but I shudder
    at our country’s current course and how the
    bulging wallets of the rich continue swelling
    at the expense of the poor and unhealthy,
    the elderly, the unacknowledged, and those
    living on the fringes, in colored shadows.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sorry about the unfollow. But your graphics flashing are just damned annoying. I do enjoy reading your things. But . . . . not with the flashing graphic as the calling card.

    Liked by 1 person

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