Monday, July 16, 2012

Grey Chambered Moon

I entered your dream as you clambered onto the dappled grey,
leapt out past the thicket of oaks arranged as a forest chamber,
bare shoulders brushed by light sprung from the full withering moon.
I may not have been welcome. My distraction nearly made you fall.
“I can’t… I can’t.” This is what you said in wisdom.
My needs would have driven you off course.

It is possible I should have known this, of course.
There are too many moments written in shades of grey
and in the heat of time we sometimes lack wisdom.
These are poor excuses drafted from an old man’s chamber,
not so old, maybe, but this summer is too quickly turning to fall.
You can tell by the waning slant of the yellowed moon.

I will remind you of the things I remember: The crescent moon
of your left breast loosely exposed by a blue V-neck. The course
of our random and unexpected language of attraction. My fall
from grace, wishing you would join me. The staggering grey
smoke of fireworks, us cast below as residents of a gas chamber.
“I love this moment,” we said, wondering at our mutual lack of wisdom.

One day, you told me, you will visit Argentina’s City of Wisdom,
the park full of gods where you will pull down your pants and moon
them. You mentioned then you weren’t wearing underwear, your chamber
of secrets momentarily exposed in my imagination, a crash course
in erotic resistance, your voice the brushstrokes of Payne’s grey
that captured and condemned Eve moments before the Fall.

There is no fall from grace or perhaps we always fall,
that terrifying dream in which we have no wings, no wisdom
to fly. We float anyway, and in this dream each of our hairs turn grey.
Before this I had never noticed the similarity between age and the moon.
The shades of the moon laugh at youth’s chambered
innocence, for all that, its light may still keep us on course.

In the end, I apologize. There is a peculiar chamber
of the heart reserved for remorse, the place from which blood falls
when pierced by love or lust, the place of abandon or recourse,
the place from which we choose to ignore wisdom
and rely instead upon hope—that impossible, scathing moon
that drenches us in a constant monochromatic palette of grey.

Love must be a chambered bullet, not silver but grey
and dark so that to fall in such is not like moonlight,
but an urgent trajectory whose course denies all wisdom.

c. 2012, by Martin A. Bartels (working draft)
Part of my new collection, "Unlanguage."
Please see author's note under "comments."