[from Marie Howe's Kingdom of Ordinary Time, Norton, 2008]
How You Can't Move Moonlight
How you can't move moonlight — you have to go
there and stand in it. How you can't coax it
from your bed to come and shine there. You can't
carry it in a bucket or cup it in
your hands to drink. Wind won't
blow it. A bird flying through it won't
tear it. How you can't sell it or buy it
or save it or earn it or own it, erase
it or block it from shining on the mule's
bristly back, dog's snout, duck bill, cricket, toad.
Shallow underwater stones gleam underwater.
And the man who's just broken the neck
of his child? He's standing by the window
moonlight shining on his face and throat.
The Kingdom of Ordinary Time: Poems