poem24 Nov 2019 05:17 pm
Selene by Albert Aublet, 1880

Sara Backer

At twilight, my dogs run ahead on slopes of scree
while I walk the train tracks. The ties are spaced to thwart
my gait: too close for one step, too far apart for two.

Between two pines, the full moon reflects the dark side
of the sun. Parallel rails echo moonlight—twin silver serpents.
Hypnotized, I travel into my past.

I am again a young virgin hunting love
alone at night, believing in Keats’ magic hand of chance
and some unknown good destiny resulting from my twisted path.

Again, an insecure flirt, dressed to dance
with men who twirl me once or twice,
failing to find romance.

A crone with an aura of frizzled silver hair appears,
neck and brow splotched and wrinkled, glad for the silent
awareness of tending two retrievers.

My convoluted path turns into a track so straight and strong
the rails bear the weight of trains. I understand the hazard
of navigating by the moon, meandering like flotsam.

I whisper to my former selves:
use the sextant, do the math,
the stars will steer you safely!

But I can’t listen to my self, bedazzled by illusion
that makes this huge white cratered orb
seem close enough to kiss.


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