Robert Cording

“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 moonslowly reddened, then went dark
as the earth mantled it. It felt as ifthe moon was melting away
or as if some magician god was pullinga 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 boatcrossing into the underworld. And the moon’s
dark hole became the lens of a telescopethrough 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 turnedin the dark from side to side, into and out of
the silvery light that transformed the larchesoutside our windows into fantastical forms.

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Robert Cording is the author of A Word in My Mouth: Selected Spiritual Poems (2013) and seven other collections, most recently Only So Far (2015). The recipient of two NEA Fellowships in Poetry, he has published his work in many journals and magazines.

Tar River Poetry

Fall 2017

Greenville, North Carolina

East Carolina University

Editor: Luke Whisnant
Associate Editor: Carolyn Elkins

A nationally ranked magazine of verse (the Dictionary of Literary Biography listed it as one of the top ten poetry magazines in the country), TRP publishes interviews, reviews, and poetry by emerging writers as well as Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners. Past contributors include William Stafford, Claudia Emerson, Sharon Olds, Leslie Norris, William Matthews, Louis Simpson, Betty Adcock, John Logan, A. Poulin Jr., Paula Rankin, A.R. Ammons, Carolyn Kizer, Albert Goldbarth, Patricia Goedicke, and many others.

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