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The moon at the end of the street

By Michael T. Young / April 1, 1999



Tonight, the houses spill their steps

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as if from toppled shakers,

and at the end of the street,

the moon, white as a block of salt,

scatters its grain.

It spices the darkness in every window,

adds a pinch to the sidewalks,

a pinch to the cars and fire escapes.

Under the flecks and crystals of its beams,

the street lights hum. Trees shake,

sprinkling a season of change to the asphalt.

It glitters like the rising tide.

So other spices spill.

First saffron, then pepper, sage,

and all the relished herbs

blending in the wind

a savor of small measures,

sweeping over the houses

into the earliest traces of morning,

of sunlight slowly filling the sky like water

dissolving both darkness and moon

till what preserves and is preserved

lingers only as a passing aftertaste.