Meditation on a Full Moon


The moon is lonely,
if to be lonely is to burn so brightly
in a dark December sky that the stars--
the ones we used to wish upon--are gone.

We who are guided by the moon
test the limits of our sanity and other loves,
we trace curves that have been there always,
find comfort in recognition.
Migratory birds in flight know this,
we have seen them as shadows on giant stones.


I had lunch with a friend who told me he was lonely.
He did not blurt out "I am lonely,"
as we stared across the table
at each other's clothes. He smiled, frowned,
little wrinkles crept about his eyes
when he chanced to laugh.

He sang once, in the middle of a conversation
just started singing how he can't be changed.
I stopped speaking, put his words
into the rhythm of a poem, then moved
my cup to the center of my plate.
We spoke at last of what it's like to live alone.


I am walking by the river and look up at the moon,
gaze openly and long, without the fear of burning.
If I close my eyes, perhaps I'll see
a bright light remaining,
etched into my sight. Or at least a shadow,
a little less darker than the dark.