Two Poems

By: J. P. Dancing Bear



Dust and Isolation and perhaps peace 

My father had died on the moon walking in along the edges
of light and dark, until his face was as hollow as the craters.
Had I known the limited numbers of flights, the immeasurable
costs to plant a single flag on that bright surface, I would have
chosen other experiments, taken different samples, gone on
alternative routes. I never found him there. What looks like an eye
from a great distance is a sea of dust. The emotional brow
was just a silent ridge where I looked back and saw the blues.

In the stillness, where I was the disturbance and the movements,
I walked the scars and found the many moons of my soul made
the one moon of my myths—was a clock I could never tell time by.
Oh I thought I knew the blues and dust when I had not even made
a single leap from the lunar lander. Now, much later, I see my father
was never there—the moon had always been my mother’s grave.



I May Have Visited You Like The Old Gods Do

focus not on the sliver of moon

faint in the day sky
nearly obscured by fog

pay less attention to your reflection
on the surface of the water

that fills your room
or that your feet will tail fin

beneath your bed
and blossoming lily pads

try not to consider yourself
a moon that either orbits

or is circled
this may lead to a false

conclusion that you are light
and lacking dark edges or sides

that under your bed
the shadow of a great eel looms

Don’t think of the sheets as unwrinkled
accusingly undisturbed

as though something is missing
or gone or displaced in some way

when I came to you
I was a swan

like an old god
black of heart and plume

my breath was the wind
in your hair whispering desire

and a hint of a storm
as though you had never been

contemplate the rest of the sky

reflected by the water
transparent enough to see

life and silt on the bottom
of your pond

consider I may never have been here




J. P. Dancing Bear is co-editor for the Verse Daily and Dream Horse Press. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, most recently, Cephalopodic (Glass Lyre Press, 2015), and Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014). His work has appeared in American Literary ReviewCrazyhorse, the DIAGRAM and elsewhere.   His next book, Fish Singing Foxes, is due out soon by Salmon Poetry.

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