Penumbra

She misses the longest partial
lunar eclipse in 580 years.

They say it wasn’t
a true blood moon.

He cracks open
another thunder egg.

The word “ash” rings
in his ears for days.

He doesn’t realize her name means
“dweller by the ash tree.”

She can’t pronounce his.
No volcano nearby.

He doesn’t know she exists.
They never meet.

If they did, she would never forget
all he gave her

bundled in layers of song
and dirt. They would meet

beside the “Spoonbridge and Cherry”
and laugh about the spoon

losing its cherry.
And it would not be vulgar.

And they would not ask why.
Would not need to know

the 1,200-pound aluminum ball
is getting a fresh coat of red paint

in Peekskill, New York.
They would pause

to see their reflection
in the pond—a fresh layer of ice

shielding its waters.

They would not care
how you get from taking

something (someone?) for granted
to casually observing it,

to becoming obsessed with it,
to becoming the thing itself:

a sculpture,
a tiny utility building,

a face naturally occurring
in the bark of a tree,

the perfect balance of clay, silt,
and sand mixed into the soil.

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