It’s 12 degrees the night air slices through my sweater my teeth chatter. Standing in the lot fetching my cell phone from the glove box my breath congeals around my face a cloud. I look up at the moon snowflakes dancing on my forehead. Luna’s face is shrouded by a cirrus veil, but her eyes are yours her lips soft caressing curl upwards in a smile as yours. I tell her of my love and she whispers her love reflectively in the voice I hear as I curl next to your picture slipping slowly into sleep.
The perigee moon hangs heavily over the city clinging to the horizon as though it wishes to flee deep into the night turning away the attention in inevitably draws. We are pulled toward it by some deeply felt force that we know we dare not question, for we must honor the moon’s secrets as we hope she will honor ours.
It is that moment when the moon is a glaring crescent, slowly engulfed by the impending night — when the few clouds give out their fading glow In the jaundiced light of the sodium arc street lamp.- It nestles the curb — at first a small bird — when touched, a twisted piece of root
I want to walk into the weed-strewn aging cemetery, stand in the shadow of the expressway, peel the uncut grass from around her head- stone. I remember her arthritic hands clutching mine, in her dark, morgueish apartment, smelling of vinyl camphor borsht I saw her last in a hospital bed where they catalog and store those awaiting death, stared at the well-tubed skeleton barely indenting starched white sheets. She smiled wanly and whispershouted my name — I held my ground unable to cross the river of years unwilling to touch her outstretched hand. She had no face then, no face now, only an even fainter smell of age of camphor of lilac of must
Next to the polished headstone lies a small, twisted root. I wish it were a bird, I could place gently on the lowest branch of the old maple that oversees her slow departure.
First appeared in Legal Studies Forum, Vol. 30, No. 1-2, 2006 and in The Right to Depart, Plainview Press, 2008.
There was a time not all that long ago, he reminds me, when the event of an eclipse was a certain sign the world was ending. Prayers were offered in profusion, and the event proceeded and passed, so faith in prayer was restored, if not in astronomy. Today eclipses are viewed as just other celestial events, like meteor showers and solar flares, something to see, something to experience, but always with the knowledge that tomorrow will always be right around the corner. But the eclipse of our freedoms is something we have never seen, and many now believe the world is ending, but we should, he says, realize that like the slow passage of the earth across the face of the moon, we will emerge into the light again in due time, our prayers having been answered.