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Moon Goddess on Missing Gravity by Debora Kuan

Tonight the moon rings against my teeth

like cast-iron played with a mallet.

I hold my imaginary life out

over a hard clay roof

and shake its excesses over the world,

the scent of phosphates saturating the atmosphere.

Whatever you want from

family you should say

before it is too late. I should know

because love slipped beneath my straw

slippers and dashed away

before I could ascertain

if it was a furred creature or a reflection

of a traveling light. My stomach aches now

in the room without a door,

in the republic with no bright flag.

It wakes me in the small hours

and reminds me of a little-known

life past, in which I could stand

rooted in my own feet

and lift my chin up to greet

the imaginary firmament.


Debora Kuan is the author of XING and Lunch Portraits. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The New Republic, The Iowa Review, ZYZZYVA, Boston Review, New American Writing, and elsewhere. She has received a US Fulbright creative writing fellowship, as well as residencies at Yaddo, Macdowell, and Santa Fe Art Institute. She is currently poet laureate of Wallingford, CT, where she lives with her husband and two children.


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