There are places the girl has been
that she will not—cannot—retell.
The memories and nostalgia tangle
around and mix in her head.
They refuse to straighten out.
Many of them are assigned
to a particular person, or season.
So she tries to just forget them, too,
locking the sepia pictures away
in a tote atop the highest shelf.
Sometimes, when she can’t suppress
flashes of incapacitated images—
she sits cross-legged on the warm concrete
beneath the big bright Moon.
She watches scenes on the backs of her
eyelids like an old projector:
things she’s said or done that are too
impossible to be real.
Too many multicolored pills cause
terrible trips. She wakes in the middle of them
startled by finding herself in a different
place, looking at her empty hand.
But sometimes the Moon offers a kind reprieve,
and not unlike sudden enlightenment,
she understands why the wolf howls at the moon.
When she remembers those places,
they unearth real pain.
Some of them she refuses to acknowledge at all,
and for these she prays-—to any gods listening—
that they are not real.
Her gut tells her otherwise.
The Moon looks down at her
with an unjudging face.
It is now she is most grateful
for a hot and cloudless night.
Like the wolves, there is an unnamed
and insatiable desire
that will always be out of reach.
Distant pieces of a concept never
fully formed lay on the tip
of her tongue,
but never surface.
So she looks at the moon she longs for,
its full face pulls at her,
not unlike a child tugging at her mother’s skirt.
And she cries.
Night after night, she howls at the Moon;
there is no other way.
She only wishes He would howl back.