Memories and Moonlight

by Shaun Terry

Someone once said, All thought is a bad translation.
The smell of smoke reaches into memories, reminds
of times that never really were.
We react like the animals that we are.

We fly over oceans,
waiting for a candlewick to turn
—sinewy wisps of powder, fading in a cool night breeze—
the end of a life
once too full to find its way above earth.

We purge ourselves of sin,
hoping to find our purity in the eyes of God,
paying indulgences, running dirt-covered fingers over black beads
—eyes closed, chests crossed—
praying for a place beyond gold bars and nacre.

We count turns of the long hand on the round, smiling clock face.
It clicks a million times,
oscillating over the same space.
Please let anything happen.

But, there is no end.
Fields of gold and aquamarine call us to run and swim—
to jump through, and over, land and limbs that slide and give beneath us.
The lights cycle around you and around me, and we can still
spin cotton while the moon is bright.