Image Credit: Virtual Moon Atlas

You lie in the tub reading the new book of poems and think: there is no ink black enough for this man’s words. This is not the tonic you require but you read on with the compulsive satisfaction of a cigarette, trading time for the the pleasurable release of smoke.   You glance at the medicine cabinet and try to remember when the half becomes the whole, the moon white promised antidote to enveloping darkness.  You lay the bleak but beautiful book aside and sink into the amniotic warmth, listen to the random minor notes of the solar lantern wind chime, a perhaps unwise impulse purchase of a man on the cusp of unemployment but the tones are soothing, the intermittence dissolving time in a minor key.

You wash, dry and dress and carry the book into the living room and contemplate: the yielding couch, the book of dark poems, the evaporation of the droplets left on the tile floor into an afternoon. Perhaps a nap, but no: the book commands your attention, the poems’ ability to turn darkness into light. There is magic in such pages and you would have it, more than a cigarette or your forgotten lunch. On the back patio the wind chimes count the time without regard for your presence, the infinite series of moments that constitute eternity, your own as insignificant as the higher iterations of pi.

When it grows dark you will retire to the patio, the book complete and consider the grammatical formula for the transmutation of darkness into light. The chimes will sound, and the frosted globe will glow—a personal moon—with its bit of stolen sunlight. You will search for the Sea of Tranquility in its soft illumination, imagine the boot tracks of your youth frozen there forever and your own transience will dissolve, the sum of your moments coalescing into something: these words perhaps. You think: I will forget these words before I can write them down, and will put the invisible manuscript where no one can see.

Mark Folse published the Wet Bank Guide Katrina blog and the book Carry Me Home, a Journey Back to New Orleans on his move home to New Orleans after the Federal Flood. Mark is co-editor of A Howling in the Wires (2010) and a partner in Gallatin and Toulouse Press. He currently blogs on literary topics and “Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans” at ToulouseStreet.net. “There is no more powerful narrative of a place and its people since the Israelites left Egypt than the story of post-diluvian New Orleans and the hurricane coast.”

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