Reflecting a foreign, far-off fire,
The moon, I imagine, hungers for young men
As she lingers palely on the fire escape,
Feeling a fever she can’t escape.

Does she, like Eros, swoop down for her man
And carry him off to an airless lunar cave
For blood transfusions? Can she speak to him
Without sound waves? Do her vine-like hands
Amuse him with their insincerity?

Her thin moonlight barely casts a shade.
She pulls a little, and the suicide rate goes up.

I see a skull bombarded by meteors,
Pockmarked by celestial smallpox, scars
To read and misread. The morning blunders in.

She shuffles off furtively, the air burns blue,
And the volcano on the horizon erupts with news.

Stephen Stepanchev

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 11 Number 6, on page 45
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