Brief Conversations with a Little Moon
Even this planet bears secrets, Little Moon.
Little Moon, you are an unfaithful lover roped in
without siphoning the morning sky for clues.
A lover’s hair that accidently spells out love in cursive
pulled into orbit with our vision concomitant
on both your glittering leaving and faint arrival.
There is no such thing as time in space,
just private choreographies. We are often late
to the dance: two years of you, Little Moon, and no light
of knowledge, just shoaling in unseen circuit
above us without discovery. Gravity, a quiet thief, pockets
small, cold unforever coins of the Universe.
Claims bodies with a bright sickle
of wonder. Reaping in glitterfreeze,
sintering a handful of orbits, and then release.
What will you tell the rest, Little Moon?
About what you witnessed of Earth?
When will you return? Could we be just be
another dim stone on the cairn of your travels?
Little Moon, scuttled between planets
you are a silvered fish, invisible to the naked eye that opens
her mouth in warm zeroes. Then you will go
back into the dark ravine of an eternity
that goes on without our favors or wishes.
The Dionysian Mysteries
For my friend, Patrick J. Bayly
Where the water curves in gentle slither. There is no such thing as a logical roar, it all
arrives from fear. The anxious Oracle waits on the shale border of a swimming pool, a
knife shivers at the bottom. I am that Oracle. My heart becomes unpearled.
It is nothing, just shaving cream. The Painter is painting a subtler moon. The one tonight
is too white and we have enough plates. The wealthy people don’t clap their hands,
they ring their wedding jewelry. I’ve sat on top of ladders I cannot climb.
From those heights I have announced I am not of color, I am just colorful.
I was then naked in between a trinity of my old lovers and whispered Lorca,
like an angel-for-hire in the canals of their ears. Anti-odes:
a juddering fruit bat is an anti-angel, and is such a useful pollinator. I spread the words
of The Oracle in verbal graffiti and we are muted in mystery. This knife is not a gun, and
it does not need to be shot to be in this poem. We take off our swimsuits.
Our hearts darken swimming in laps
in shapes of numbers we never knew dialed into rotary phones.
We talked about riches and the soil in The Hamptons
tastes like honey made from miraculous wasps. Out of water,
I call The Painter’s name, a sorghum blessing, and he sang an Appalachian tune with a
side of milkshake and oranged barbecue-chip hands. Together, we unstrung each
violence of a supernova from its tether. I knew what was coming, but I let it remain
unnoticed like a pool of glittering blood
by a silent cage of sleeping chickens.
Born to Pakistani-American immigrant artists, Jai Hamid Bashir was raised in the Southwest. Educated at the University of Utah and Columbia University in the City of New York, Jai has been published by The American Poetry Review, Palette Poetry, The Margins, Sierra Magazine, Academy of American Poets, and others.
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