Sunday, January 23, 1994

Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse

A lunar eclipse is a misnomer.
I know, I saw one
last night before bed.
Imagine a sort of un-magic trick.
I, planted in the courtyard
assisted the spectacle,
yet there was no slight of hand in sight.
Perhaps it's the moon who is had,
and we on earth the accomplices.

Come one, come all
and don't be late,
for once a century
with the aid of the eclipsing earth
the moon succeeds in fooling us all.

Outside the authoritative presence of the sun
she shines brighter than ever.
Normally flat facial reflection
moon is transformed before the world,
into a luminous and independent orb.
Chinese lamp of my memory
full of hope and honey.

Child that I was
and will try to remain,
I remember playing trompe l'oeil.
Game of light and imagination.
Squinting through chopsticks
to trap the silhouetted lamps
little retinal planets
simulacre prefigurations
a lunar eclipse suspended
in a dimly lit Chinese restaurant.

Tonight with my chopstick fingers
I tried to possess the moon
and put it in my pocket,
but she escapes my grasp.

The moon is not white
she is yellow, out of modesty
veiling herself by light of day.
The earth, a jealous lover
hides her in his shadow,
sole spectator to the metamorphic strip-tease.

And the sun, eternal voyeur,
throws its projector light
on the moon half undressed.
The surface blushes orange,
the sea of tranquility blusters.
The moon isn't trying to be a star,
she simply wants to prove her existence.
A recurring rite of passage.

Shortly after, the curtain of light
falls back over the scene.
The monologue now finished,
the moon regains her poise
leaving us with the memory
of a flash that will wait
eons for another chance
to unveil itself for those
who are ready to pay attention.