July 20th, 2009

goodbye

But it's a place, the moon, a place big as all Africa

& June & Croon

We sit down here, looking up at the moon,
necks cricked back all uncomfortable,
with our thoughts of poetry & romance &
dancing silverware and silvery light,
but the moon doesn't affect us, not really
not even as much as it does clams,
sleeping in their mud,
dreaming mindless dreams set to
rhythm by a stone in the sky they'll never see
never even guess the existence of

And to us it's just a light in the sky
maybe we gaze at it for a minute or two, say gosh isn't
it beautiful behind wispy clouds or shining on a lake or over the mountains
& then go on chattering inconsequentialities
& never even think to look up at it again

But it's a place, the moon, a place big as all Africa
big as all the world's deserts together and then some
harsh and rugged and cold as the mountains of Antarctica
and as beautiful

a place with lonely footsteps nearly forgotten,
tiny in the midst of vast cratered plains
where we have left behind our forgotten dreams

No, footprints are never lonely:
the loneliness is in us.

~Geoffrey A. Landis
Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, May 1991