HARVEST MOON ON TRASH NIGHT
Hauling out the last black Hefty bag
I spot the full moon fat as a lemon bundt
cake above the dumpsters. Three stray cats
dart into spindly elms that split the reeking
bins from the railroad tracks beyond. At night,
steel freighters thunder through here, jittering
loose windows, sounding their low drone
that strikes the heartís anvil like longing.
This is the sort of place you live when you donít
know where to go--young couples dreaming
lifetimes in their first shared beds, guys
who know too much about kung fu films,
or the just-divorced getting by between
visitation Sundays. Iíve grown to hate this
sameness, the nowhere feel of modest brick,
communal lawn plots, strip malls of the soul.
But tonight the big moon stops me cold; haloing
the slate October sky and whisped by clouds,
like the sky I saw one autumn as a child,
after a nightmare kept me up, my step-dad laced
his boots and walked with me around our northern
town to help me sleep, he said. Down past dark
houses to the street of empty shops that faced
the shore; far below, I knew, black waves
of Lake Superior rushed the rocky crags.
In the quiet night that already smelled of snow
we heard the constant, churning undertow.
And the moon looked near enough to touch
the unleafed limbs or if I stretched my palm,
I might feel its scarred and dusty face,
so many miles from home.
Christina Kallery's poems have appeared in Failbetter, Rattle, The Hiram Poetry Review, The MacGuffin, Poetry Motel and other publications. She holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and recently moved to New York City from Detroit.