Wednesday, October 28, 2009


You need to remember the moon is waxing now.

It is early evening. You are stepping flat-footed on the stained sidewalk and the wind is catatonic. You see the smallest movement out of the top corner of your left eye. A head peers out a fourth-floor schoolroom window, a silhouette in stale yellow relief. For three seconds the figure from the school glances down at you—taking note of you, marking the outsider—and then recedes into the square room, out of sight, cleaning under the fluorescents.

Just above the building--further up to your left--well across space--a pearl on black velvet is growing. The moon is only half-full now but there is hope because it is not trapped in its waning stage.

You wonder why you’ve never really noticed the half-moon before now. You are forty years old and you’ve never noticed the half-moon before. You wonder why you’ve never even read anything or heard anyone remark on the half-moon before. You recall comments on the crescent moon (“God’s thumbnail”) and you’ve personally drawn in your breath at the sight of the full-moon (sometimes low and large as The Great Pumpkin and colored so; sometimes high and nickel-sized and speckled-silver) but never once have you bothered to gasp at the half-moon.

Pity that, since the half-moon is simply a full-moon viewed from a different angle.

But, for now, you are equal parts light and dark. On the one hand, you are arctic chill; on the other, desert heat. There is no middleway, it seems; only two extremes. There is no wind, neither here nor there. You are the half-moon. You could be the elusive custodian.

Tonight, you shall not go unnoticed. Tonight, for once, you elicit remark.

You continue—now strolling—waiting for the wind to blow on a stifling long night, remarking to yourself and your tugging dog about the waxing satellite. And the half-moon loiters too long. But take heart, the full moon is but a fortnight away, or less. And after but another brief wait, you shall see God’s thumbnail. And then you shall be full-faced and mysterious, like a pearl on black velvet, priceless, forever full, eternally faced.

You long for another day. This half-moon night is an hour too long.

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