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.
The once gods have been reduced
again to mere mortals
and find the change disquieting.
Just the other day I saw Hermes
meandering along Fifth Avenue
pausing to look at scarves in a window
of a store he never imagined.
Even the once great queen
finds herself behaving like
a love-struck teenager.
One who bred desire now works
as a hack writer for a card company,
a blow to his psyche more
than anyone can imagine.
Even the nameless one
has been seen working behind
the register at Walmart
thankful for the extra hours
as the holiday season approaches.
We no longer aspire to be gods,
it is too much work and there is
simply no payoff.
My grandmother lapsed into Yiddish only on special occasions “where other words won’t fit” she said, where there is no English to describe the indescribable, blessed be He, but we knew that it was merely a convenient way to keep us out of the conversation, while they clucked. Mah Johng is a game that can only be played in Yiddish, she said, to hell with thousands of years of Chinese history.
She remembers the Golem she met him once on Fourteenth Street when she still had the liquor store. She thought it strange that he wanted gin and not Slivovitz but Golem can be strange under the right circumstances, and he did speak Yiddish.
Sirius, you arise each evening. Your braying washes the night sky, as though to daunt us. There was a time we stood in simple awe having no idea how far away you skulked or of your immenseness, a cold dark point that could barely illumine our occasional thought. Hawking sits pressed into his chair held in a gravity with a force of a thousand suns, all pulling toward a singular focus and witnesses your slow death collapsing inward, downward into your seat on the heavenly chariot until the moment when nothing can escape. Hubble knew you all too well, chasing you across the sky as you dodged flitting just out of grasp. You are the coyote, hiding by day to avoid the hunter, knowing his steps across the mesa, hearing his footfall reverberating through the void. Einstein knew you all too well, although he rarely glanced upward preferring to stare through his mind’s eye, dissecting you, cutting you into neat slices then reassembling you and placing you back on the mantle of his limitless imagination. We no longer fear you, or for that matter, much care your color fades into whiteness and you are lost like another grain of sand on the beach of time.