Moon in the Window by Dorianne Laux
MARGINALIA • SKIP TO THE POEM
Isn’t it exhausting to write about the moon, someone asked. I should say that I am asked this all the time. It’s not surprising, for I come from a long line of poets who have looked up most nights and thought, yes, I will write about the moon.
Should I write about wars. Or the scab of your life you kept picking on until you are bleeding again. Should I write about hunger, or the fire in my blood one night I marched with hundreds of people, screaming about injustice to the dead of night. What would you have me do, I wanted to say, in return for beauty?
The hole a soldier looks through before pulling the trigger is the moon. The wound on your skin is the moon. You open your mouth and the light you swallow is the moon. The fist I raise with my heart in my throat is the moon.
Moon in the Window
I wish I could say I was the kind of child
who watched the moon from her window,
would turn toward it and wonder.
I never wondered. I read. Dark signs
that crawled toward the edge of the page.
It took me years to grow a heart
from paper and glue. All I had
was a flashlight, bright as the moon,
a white hole blazing beneath the sheets.
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This poem appeared in Facts About the Moon by Dorianne Laux, published by W.W. Norton Company, 2007. Shared here with profound gratitude.
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