My first lover, my clavicle’s chiseler
sculpting me into blue lamentation
and crucible for your lunacy,
summon me to scuttle forward—
cancer moon, cancer rising—and fill
myself on your dust-flashed milk,
your gray honey black-green grasses
use to sharpen their nightblades. My paramour
who gowns me in a yawning glint, Helios’s
canvas by which you find your aspects,
find your shape misshapen in seven-eighths,
your eighth self finally filled with ochre blood
or the ruddy salutations of familiar fever.
You pass your sickness to me like fervor,
my heart a moon learning all its phases
at once. My idiolect and diaphragm,
deliberate disc slipped from Thoth’s spine,
Elysium I pitch my body beneath, white morning
glories opening from my sweat-flushed back.
I feel my veins harp-pluck toward you. I rise
like any body of water compelled into risk,
pulled up the god-ladder of your gibbous.
You perfect your appetite in my blood,
hematite of harvest, scolecite that pulls
my bloodwaves to zenith in your skull
of good omen, your lambent weight
witness to worship and worry. I, a sun-celibate
celebrant ensconced in pearl. My mood unravels
in your fingerless hand. I dance lute-backed
in the armory of your niveous eye. Your snake-fang
posture I hang from my ear, your crescent
weaning me off your nectar. I will grieve
your circumference, your diameter, your secant
and chord as you renew yourself with erasure:
Moon as a mouth no more.
Moon as a wound no more.
Moon wound round my fists
no more. Moon in the grips
of hunger, moon chip-toothed,
goat-eye round in shock no more.
Moon no beast aspires to kiss.
Moon the color of my coming
no more. Misery moon. Moon
dipped in a wail. Moonsick
no more. Moonward, dust floats
but lingers no more. Moon-heavy
chimney, no more. Moon-washed
tongue washing me, no more. Full
moon night’s chandelier no more.
How high the no-more moon?
The cow jumps over the nevermoon.
Moon River no more. Wider than a mile,
my arms take the shape of you no more.
Do not watch me while I look for you,
in the galaxy that breathes your many names:
Tsukuyomi, Coyolxauhqui, Chang’e, Khonsu.
I am malaised by moonglut, moonstruck,
lunatic eclipsed by my lips’ supplicant O!
From Mutiny by Phillip B. Williams. Used with the permission of Penguin Books.