The Crush of the Moon
Every night she appears Above me From her position of nowhere To her position of somewhere From behind the magic of a cloud And I look despondently at her From my perch at the window, Drunk on the melodies of music And embers of light in the darkness And she looks down at me With a bored but petulant rage, Flicking me with a powerful finger To put me in my place And knock me down Just as I am rising Every night I corkscrew deeper Into the sameness madness Of a love that is wan, That is not tender, Crushed between the fingers of the moon And floating further out Each evening Into the vast useless discomposure Of a promiseless Tomorrow And the next Holding on inside to the very things That have cast me Into the void
The smell of matches lit in vain For candles whose long wicks remain But are irresolutely soaked in the tears Of ghosts who never lived here But in a place I was banned That I imagine I would see in my dreams If I still had dreams.
Even when I close my eyes I cannot get much rest. Still. Still. After all these years, living more than half a life in fear and obscurity – I will not, cannot relax. The poetic term would be Respite. No respite for me. Perhaps it’s because I have words missing as if chunks of memory deleted. Faith. Bravery. Trust. I search for those words and when I find them I break them open, only to find their shells empty. Standing on the beauty of a silvery sand, held up by trillions of kernels, tiny and abrasive individually and all I can feel is alone, exhausted, unable. No respite for me. When the water laps up to me, I retreat. No matter how good it feels, I back away. No respite for me. After all these years and all that’s happened I’m still afraid to stand at the open window unless the shades are drawn. I close my eyes, the lids shutting abrasively. The breeze is there but the shade absorbs it. It doesn’t matter if it’s dark or light out there. I’m naked and afraid, my skin untouched. No respite for me.
John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals since 2009. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry contains links to his published poetry online.