Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Moon of Books

Praised be the moon of books!

What did she mean by that phrase?
Whatever she intended,
It’s up to you, now, to bring

The meanings to it. The moon
That orbits a planetoid
Of books, scrolls and codices,

Enough of a library
To bend gravity a bit,
To attract an asteroid

And capture it for a moon?
Or maybe this moon of books
Functions for the books themselves

As the moon of Earth functions
For Earth’s grave mass of poets,
That ancient image invoked

Whenever the volumes need
To sound profound in some way,
Some vaguely serious way.

But how would books get a moon?
Maybe this moon’s made of books,
A silvery library,

All dust and compressed insects,
Discarded but orbiting
What? What possible planet

Would a moon made up of books
Circle servilely, mutely,
Despite craters and mountains

Of languages, globe of words,
Sphere of phrases? An old soul
Of skulls, all the human skulls

Rolled up together, that’s what,
Not some rock and iron world,
Not a vaporous giant—

A planet of bones, near which
Spins this airless, battered mass
Of impacts, the moon of books.

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