Blue Moon

By Matt Steel
02 July 2021

i. xxl
Oh to be seven
and a half miles tall
watch division
fear and grief
shrink to specks
admire Earth’s curvature
without needing
to trouble nasa
or give Mom
another reason to worry

I would fan ice caps
back to proper coolth
throw a welcome-home party
for polar bears
who would show their gratitude
by hitchhiking
to Huntsville
where they would give
free rides to children
and teach them
how folks on Svalbard
make real snowballs

I would wade
past Catalina
into the Pacific
take a breather
off the coast of Oahu
face north
and wait
till an Aleutian storm
sends 60-foot waves
to lap against my collarbone
set free any stray schools
of mahi or triggerfish
that become entangled
by groping tendrils
of chest hair

Further west
I’d wriggle my toes
into cold crevices
of the Marianas Trench
ponder the wisdom
of kintsugi
feel indigo feelings
think marooned thoughts
as the sun sets
over Asia

But say a toe gets caught
between tectonic plates
and I need the strength
of both arms
to pry it loose
say the resulting tsunami
drowns Japan
no more wabi
so long sabi
Sadō no tatsujin

On second thought


ii. small
Better to be small
smaller than Rhode Island
smaller than the pygmy jerboa
small as a mote
little footprint
little trouble

Air travel would be free as
tradewinds for passport
the smallest tiny-home Airbnb
A Taj Mahal to myself
open windows admitting
a thundering squadron of maple keys

Say I catch one one-handed
like a Mongol warrior
catching a horse
on the run
and ’copter to Bardstown Kentucky
where my whirling key catches
in the crack
of a door
on the back stoop
of a Trappist abbey

And in that fluttering stillness
I write a novel
a work of historical fiction
about the secret lives
of reclusive motes
title it
in the first week
sell a million copies

But say due to a clerical error
by some lipid-brained dander flake
the entire first edition
is accidentally shipped
to a castle in Lichtenstein
and the Lilliputian fleet
of 18 wheelers
is blown by a breeze
clean off the drawbridge
inches from the gate
and falls
into the gaping jaws
of hungry carps
in the moat

On third thought


iii. medium
Best to stay put
work with what is
keep thoughts and thumbs connected
to this five-foot-eight
and three-quarters-inch body
keep asking
what is mine to do
or better
what is the next right thing to do
brushing my daughter’s hair
scrubbing dishes
folding laundry
who knows
anything’s possible
it is
after all
a blue moon