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"The heavens," our weather-person said,
"will be putting on quite a show."

And, when the perigee full moon,
the earth, and sun lined up, the moon

slowly reddened, then went dark
as the earth mantled it. It felt as if

the moon was melting away
or as if some magician god was pulling

a sheer black cloth over
the moon's naked shoulders and hips.


Moths ticked against the glass of a window,
trying to reach a light left on upstairs.

In the bog behind our house, stands of trees
darkened into shades packed tight in a boat

crossing into the underworld. And the moon's
dark hole became the lens of a telescope

through which we saw the stars, and the galaxy
the stars belonged to, and then, against our will,

the galaxies beyond our galaxy, the dizzying
sensation of space opening on space.


Afterwards, when we tried to translate
what we had felt, words were no help.

In bed, unable to sleep, we watched highlights
of the eclipse on the Weather Channel,

wanting to feel again how we had been changed.
And after that: still restless, we turned

in the dark from side to side, into and out of
the silvery light that transformed the larches

outside our windows into fantastical forms.

Robert Cording

Tar River Poetry

Fall 2017

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