Saturday, February 26, 2005

Andrea's Poetry - Red Moon

Andrea was so pleased when this poem won Glimmer Train's First Poetry Open. It appeared in Issue 31, Summer 1999. From Andrea's comments published in Glimmer Train: "I have had an inordinate number of deaths in my life, which is why a good deal of my work is centered around this subject. 'Red Moon' was written for a friend and colleague who died at thirty-nine of a heart attack. He was the kind of man I am sure inspired many eulogies, and would be quite pleased that this one has received such recognition."

Red Moon

It is the night of the lunar eclipse
and a man I am planning to love
drops dead of a heart attack,
though I won’t know this
until tomorrow. Actually,
he is driving, and slumps
dead, his heart popping softly
like a bad firecracker.

My sorrel gelding is old
and has colic this night.
The book says, “Walk the horse
unceasingly; take heart
at peristaltic sounds.”
We circle the lawn in perfect
syncopation; when I press my ear
to his side, his belly is tight and silent.

In the house next door
the windows are open;
my neighbors are making love.
Is there anything
more lonely than this?
Watch your heart, I whisper.
What we say aloud
ascends to Heaven.

How God orchestrates these moments:
frozen in the arc of the stable light,
a red fox plays possum,
her heart tripping in her chest;
the red horse, deciding not to die,
shifts his weight off my shoulder
as suddenly as the sky turns red
in the middle of the night.

Across town,
at a lazy intersection,
the man puts his hand to his heart.
He is puzzled by how his life
leaves him; there is nothing
of the past, and the light he sees
at the end of the tunnel
is not white, but red.

He is dreaming, instead,
of a copper fox, a sorrel horse,
a woman whose heart
he can hear
as she opens her arms
to the luminous sky
and swears, This
is how I will love you.


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