My Favorite Poem

throat shining tidal wave 
by Lucy Anderton 

That one boy told me, once
that one night while I was
sleeping with my mouth open
he looked in through my lips and saw
an entire moon
lodged in my throat
and panting. 

I had to leave him after he told me that
for, honestly, it is my only secret. 

My smile has become
just a modest set
of silver bricks
holding the moon
on the garden of my tongue. 

trying to keep us together, 
like two plump birds, that boy
said that my secret will slide
out through my nose eventually. 
And then it will flush down my chin
and over the front of my t-shirt
to skid off the tips of my breasts
and pad
to the ground
like a panther. 

Or like spiderman. 

And it will throw out a sticky web and zip away. 
And then what secret will I have? 
And what will everyone talk about? 

People have been talking for days
about the vanishing of the great white apple
cheek that swung in the air like a myth. 
I know they won't understand if I tell them
that it is in my throat. And that there is
now no night in my body. 

It is not something with which I am comfortable

You came to my house, one day. 
You had a box. It was a big box. So big
that you could barely hold it up. You said
you hadn't known what to get me. That I
didn't fit into any gift box ideas. You had
turned to fruit but you knew I woke up
wrapped in pears. You turned to flowers
but you found daisies behind my ears. 

So you tried to catch two stars to put into my eyes. 

They were too far and so you missed them. 
But your net happened to hitch around the corner
of the moon. You tugged that down instead. 

And since it seemed second best, you said
you were sorry, but could I do you the honor
of accepting this Simple Moon. 

I told you I had nowhere to keep the moon, 
but you said that I am endless
and I should keep it in me. 

I looked down at my hands
and they were spiraling like dreidels
So I put them into your hair and into your mouth
and I spread your kisses on my lips and that calmed me. 
For you are the one person I trust in the world. 

This is not a comfortable thing for me. 

With a little prodding the moon did
eventually finger into my throat
and you said to me

Now I must leave you. 
Although I have loved no moment, 
sound or person like I love you. 
But as long as the moon
is in you, so am I. 
That is your secret. 

And you kissed my eyes and were gone. 
And I stood there with Jesus in my lashes
and was glad that you exist. 

The moon was a tough act to
swallow. We all know that. Tougher, 
still, is that every person pressed against
me is you. All the kisses taste
like you. You sit by my head
and hold my hand while I
make love with "him" 
and with "him". 

But when it is finished, and he is asleep
I look over his shoulder and breathe a song
of moonlight against the wall to slip down upon you. 

And it is something with which I am comfortable. 
 

WIlliam PacholskiComment