“Moon” by Zachary Goldberg – voicemail poems

as silent and holy as an empty church.

a polished row of pews. you, moon
in the sky, how do you do it?
your one-handed gravity
holding still the earth. astral magic trick,
you newly christened old god.
every family’s forgotten dance is a scar
on your surface. memory like a bear trap.
worldfodder magnet. wise old sledgehammer
once smashed through our orbit longways.
we were just a pie cooling on the galactic
windowsill. now we say Light &
mean your face, stretched our whole lives
and once reached your shadow. pockmarked
queen of all ships. all flags. can’t sing
a note of worship if it doesn’t include
a word of pain. the night sky’s
opening bell and serene last call,
nursing your craters like old wounds
nursing your craters like children.
your face held high and regal
through eons of the same steady bruise
and somehow you arrive to us with a bouquet
of escape of routes. i have so much
to learn from you, and not just about physics.
how long did it take you to learn
such luminescent confidence? your brilliant
backlit halo, the way you just float and move
everything, shine your own ligaments to dust.
when people say they love each other
to the You and back, is it about distance
or about damage? about some man’s
lonely footprint? and what do we know
about damage next to you, anyway?
all our blood clots thick with time
but you have no winds to whisper
your name. sometimes the healing
does not rush through you. prehistoric ocean
or otherwise. there are no channels
you didn’t cut yourself. no way to say Over
in the dead space. no one there to hear it
but a silent star.
and a billion other stars.

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