“no one saw the moon that bled in my mouth
                   or the blood that rose into the silence.”

                                                 –Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto

Mosquitos leach my naked chest.
A single frog calls for a mate.
Scent of citronella fills the patio
as a weak ward.

It’s quiet now.  Outside.
And in that quiet, I try to be present.
Try to remember
the events of the day, what transpired
outside of my mind:

             Early on, I’d written.  And I’d read.
             The heat had been oppressive at 9 am
             but both the warmth, and the chill, were yours.

             I crawled along the ground at the edges
            of my mother’s yard, sprinkling the ground
            with cayenne pepper—like a salt ring, perhaps—
            around the perimeter of the fence (not for spirits,
            though, against the family of skunks that sprayed
            our dogs a week ago).  It’s overgrown,
            outside that fence, and thorns ripped
            at my arms, a blister formed, trees pressing
            almost too close against my frame; I had to shimmy
            face to face with privacy.  I had to climb a tower
           of barbed wire, precariously balanced against posts,
            pushing (breaking) smaller limbs, a bag
            of plastic bottles over my shoulder
            like some diabolical Santa.  I shook
            them, one by one, spreading their acrimony
            along the base, the burnt sienna painting
            a boundary, the slight breeze, apparently,
            carrying it to my body, since, halfway done,
            my face began to burn with a hollow, dull
            pain.  But throughout, I barely registered
            any of it; I was swimming your words in my head.

                                     …and the yard seemed to be spinning.

             I had to hurry, because I had a wedding in Lexington
            to rescue, on the morrow–their DJ having canceled
            four days in advance; the officiant had done but one
            ceremony; the coordinator was on her first, simply
            an intern for the groom’s business and young, so very young;
            the family barely listened, faces buried in their phones
             (including the bride); the groom was growing agitated
            at how slow the rehearsal was going.  My mind
            was a thousand light years away, but the city
            continued spinning, so I stepped forward and let my voice
            come from my belly—and they listened and they
            thanked me, again and again, for making “lemonade
            of the week’s lemons.”  I didn’t tell them
            how right they were.

                                     …how, now, the country was set spinning.

            I debriefed the debate with my sons over the phone–
            had avoided the angry susurrus of CNN issuing forth
            from my mother’s bedroom, at home:  One candidate
            supposedly infirm, the other a child and a lying felon.
            I pretended I hadn’t seen the correspondents shift stances,
            so dramatically, with their opinions/coverage of the Left—
            while a box had been floating in the lower right corner
            of the screen:  Coming Next:  Kamala Harris (for the record,
            I would welcome her, but the theater was overwrought
            and the plot was too obvious and the manipulation
            would have overwhelmed me)

                                     …if the sun wasn’t still spinning.

             I made calls while I was driving, while filling an empty tank, replacing 
             milk. I kicked the tires.  I changed my clothes into something less restricting.
             I signed two more events in the coming weeks. Agreed to spin a pool party
             on the Fourth (the Country Club first time calling).  Agreed to DJ another
             local business owner’s renewal of her vows.  I applied to 10 identical jobs
             with the state (tax specialist positions, of all things, prevaricating
             my native language was actually numbers).  My mom and I watched a show
             about an alien pretending to be normal as we ate honeyed salmon
             and a baked potato.

                                     …and all the while, the universe was spinning.

             So here I am now, with a glass of wine.  It’s 2 a.m. and I’m sweating
             in nothing but athletic shorts.  Listening to the silence (a blessed silence).
             Trying to make this sound less…depressing.  Knowing the cosmic fabric
             does not set its spin cycle to my dirty laundry.  But overflowing
             with the sensation, that…everything keeps going.  Everything
             keeps spinning—How?—does it all keep spinning, when I am here,
             and you are there–frozen between one breath and the next, and my mind
             and my heart in synchronization with the serenade of Saturn’s rings,
             forty-eight hours like phantom numbers floating erratically in the air,
             like some Netflix show only I can see

                                     …while the hands on the clock continue spinning?

              In the dark—I’m wishing it were winter, the scent of pine and petrichor
             joining steam rising off my chest—up and out and into a quietus
             of crisp air after a hot bath in the night—it’s a secret occupation of my spirit
             to do—when it’s the right season, when its the right moment, the right time
             for such to occur.  But that seems my curse:  the right thing, at the wrong time,
             until the right time makes the right thing tremulous
             and wrong.  I believe in perfect
                                                                       timing; I believe, in fact, it is all right now.
             That every Me exists in the same moment, that they stand around me, now,
             laying on hands.  That every story is always happening—all at once.  And this is
             how we know (some of us know) when we meet Them.  This is how we know
             (some of us know) where the story goes.  Before a single word has been written.
             Before a single kiss has been taken.  So we watch our feet as they move forward,
             Damn the torpedoes, and  full steam ahead,
                                                                                           because we know there is a greater lesson
             our souls had already decided           
                                                                     in the space before we were born.
                            So we are choosing                     what we were always choosing.
             And loving every sweep of the story, every ounce of the beauty,                though
             we know                                                                        we might be losing.
                                          But damn, if it isn’t confusing.                   
                                                                                                                  And fuck, if it isn’t
                                                     bruising, and hells

                                                                                               that it isn’t