Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Lunar Eclipse Seen from the Central Valley

(California: April 1979)


 We sipped tequila from a bottle,
saw a shadow push into the moon,
which took on a planet’s gravitas,
losing its varicose craters, its

coin’s gloss.  Then its yellow
turned brown and red enough
to make a farmer look at it
as arable space. We enjoyed

the eclipse’s math and chance,
tried to focus binoculars
using a rooftop TV antenna
as approximative point.

We tried to shape our minds
around such fear and magic
as hunters/gatherers
may have felt. We failed.

We joked, and after midnight,
we opened doors of our several
abodes in a college-town stucco
hive.  We set clocks,

listened to household engines,
to music from vinyl undulating on a
turn-table like glassy harbor
water. Our dreams orbited desire.




Hans Ostrom 1979/2017
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