Astropoetica: Mapping the Stars through Poetry

Libration

Just as I learned I could never see
the back of the moon from here,
never understand that lunatic darkness,
she called and explained illness to me again.
We’ve sent probes and cameras to the farside,
named some of the craters and basaltic plains,
even sent a man out to look upon the shadowed
curve and still we know nothing. How like space
to tempt us with stars and comets and yet leave
us blind. She told me that it’s probably nothing
to worry about, a lump that hasn’t yet dissolved,
a piece of something that’s taken up space beneath
her clavicle. We’ve even been through this before:
asked questions, demanded explanations, both of us
thinking that mortality is lurking around somewhere,
and he is, but he’s a patient and curious creature.
He lingers for a long while to see what we’ll do,
sometimes moving closer and then back again,
rocking the balance of life and death,
melodramatic as always.
I lock the door after our conversation.
Tonight is a full moon night and I’ve just
read about libration, how the moon wobbles
in orbit despite being locked to us, always
facing one way, never showing us more
than fifty-nine percent of his face.

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Christine Klocek-Lim received the 2009 Ellen La Forge Memorial Prize in poetry. She has three chapbooks: Cloud Studies (Whale Sound Audio Chapbooks), How to photograph the heart (The Lives You Touch Publications), and The book of small treasures (Seven Kitchens Press). Her poems have appeared in Nimrod, OCHO, Poets and Artists (O&S), The Pedestal Magazine, Diode, the anthology Riffing on Strings: Creative Writing Inspired by String Theory and elsewhere. She is editor of Autumn Sky Poetry and her website is www.novembersky.com.