Footnote to the Book of Moonlight

First published as The Cotton Sonnet, then posthumously

as The Mineral Thief, the book of moonlight


never did appear in paperback. But it was bound

in an open air bindery, just before


the collected sidewalk, just after the selected

raccoon. In one monograph, the moon actually


dances off from its own dinner party, the dishes

not done and the guests still talking, the streetlights


huddled outside, tall tradesmen gossiping

cautiously about the constellations, how great


the space between them, how strange their crooked

carpentry. Of course, that’s just one version.


Others contend it just sinks back to the suburbs,

the dewy shingles above the two-car garage where


the moon now lives, and where it drifts off,

if I remember correctly, in the night’s quiet library.


The wind stopping by to thumb through it,

then putting it back when it’s done.


See also the moon, sitting on a shelf, just

out of reach. It’s call number the square root of one.