A Moon Walkings Into a Bar

by Christine Reilly

& forgets to take off his soccer cleats.
A lady friend bellows, Look at those obliques!
Moon is embarrassed, turns pumpkin & sunflower
in the cheeks. A moon walks into a bar
& a flashlight mistakes him for another flashlight,
trying to pick him up. The moon is too drunk to trust his own
diminishing moral code,

so he consults his lady-friend in the bathroom.
She tells him, let him blow you, but don’t touch him or anything.
The bathroom is playing “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal,
which is Moon’s favorite song.
He takes it as a sign and goes back into the smoky bar,
ready to be fondled by a stranger.
The flashlight is talking to a boat-shaped chandelier.
He orders her a mind-eraser and thinks he’s suave.
The flashlight avoids eye contact with Moon
while telling the boat-shaped chandelier about how pre-Raphaelite she
looks,

how bright she is, like a banana leaf!
Moon thinks, don’t get so down on yourself.
People don’t think about you as much as you do.
A moon walks into a bar & people try to cop a feel,
claiming, I’ve never felt anyone’s moon before.
The moon surprisingly contains a lot of muscle.
A moon walks into a bar
& people ogle at his big soft legs, like they’re made of sugar. A moon
walks into a bar
& his hair looks a bit oily. Some Chinese claim to worship the moon,
offering him a slice of honeycake. He prefers to drink beer
out of a sippycup. A moon walks into a bar & accidentally gets salt-
hard,
turned on. & people notice. & people hand the moon
their business cards, trying to network.
They ask Moon, what was your major in college?
& Moon replies, rhetoric. They shut up.
A moon walks into a bar & somebody says, My friend Jupiter, he has a
LOT of moons,
& people bar-hop to one closer to the sun, with more breathing room.
They finally leave Moon alone. A moon walks into a bar
& prays to Father, Son & Holy Spirit. He looks for Earth, his own
Father. He forgets
that right now he is living on Earth, not in His crater-womb but
holding his hands, on the ground.
You know that trite quote about footsteps? You know the one,
the way it’s endlessly re-printed on funeral programs. I was carrying you,
my Son, all this time.
Not many people know that Moon’s footsteps are clouds. On overcast
days,
Moon exercises with sooty allure and a pedometer, hoping to shrink
to the size of a goose-necked banana. Earth stares back at his son,
remarking,
a disappointment. A moon walks into a bar
& stares out the window at an Irish Nightingale. He’s convinced
she may be the reincarnation of a girl who died young, the tallest
girl in the class. She has no friends, in this life or the one before.

*

I have published pieces in thirty-six literary journals. I have been named Editor’s Pick of the Month in the literary journal Breadcrumb Scabs. My writing will be featured in The Clearing: Forty Years with Toni Morrison, a book by Carmen Gillespie and James Braxton Peterson, which is coming out later this year. I have given poetry and fiction readings all throughout New York City and Westchester, including at the first annual New York Poetry Festival. I have written one book and one chapbook of poetry, the latter of which won finalist in the Susquehanna University’s Pulled Pork competition. I have won full scholarships to both the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets and the Sarah Lawrence Summer Seminar. I have also won the Smithson Prize for Creative Writing. I currently live in Brooklyn. My website iswww.christinejessicamargaretreilly.com