Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

August Blue Moon

by William Doreski

At five AM the blue moon glows
like a hole through which the daylight
of a different world is bleeding.
Up to catch this phenomenon,
I’ve wrenched a muscle in my back
and bumped my head on a cabinet
so hard I gained an excess of stars
to accompany my glimpse of moon.

The atmosphere possesses a rare
quantity of blue, a chemical
layer dense enough to leave a bruise
on the cosmic mask the ether dons
whenever homo sapiens looks
beyond the immediate landscape.
Meanwhile with your soft hands folded
and the cats heaped on the bed

you snooze that disinterested snooze
I associate with minerals
buried deep in the planet’s crust.
The natural world excludes the books
we’ve read to shape us to ourselves.
It excludes also the fear of death
that would preclude more expansion
of a crass if buoyant universe.

Yet I’m up to see a rare blue moon,
and you in sleep have fossilized
in the subtlest hues of agate.
Something insidious in the glare
of this watercolor satellite
alerts me to a weasel primping
at the edge of the deck I built
ten summers ago. The creature

preens like a cat; but because
it lacks shoulders its motions lack grace.
With a start it senses me, darts
away, leaving a comet’s tail
flickering. Those are sparks of moon,
a sympathetic light that falls
on everything alive, a pageant
of malleable air. I peer as hard

as I can at the moon to memorize
its peculiar blue, then retreat indoors
to shower and shave as if days
like this brim as normally
as neap and ebb tides do—
the oceans of our interiors
slopping around those organs
too focused for moons to endorse.