Another Side to the Moon

Meera Gangasani

the moonlight drips like butter onto a pale blue blanket

as his snores float among archie comics and trek across mahogany bookshelves;

peter and wendy dance, holding hands and hearts by the ivy curtains and nightstand,

lost in worlds of shadows and sun, 

oblivious to the deafening glow 

of lonely days evolving into restless nights

of a sluggish, bustling world dipped deeper in the ink of despair,

of tumultuous reckonings and stony truths.

 

their laughter seeps through flaking walls into a purple-toed room,

where a dog with blossoming rigatoni fur gnaws at the fringes of a fleece blanket

wrapped around a girl who forgets that there is a darker side to the moon,

rainbow walls and dimpled chin, 

a light breathes underneath her rosy blanket, flickers and then exhales, 

a novel slammed shut and quelled, its words netted like fireflies between her fingers,

the world she doesn’t understand unpaused

as feathery footsteps emerge from the doorframe, 

the comforting, fleeting embrace of a warm hand on her shoulder, 

gleaming pages fluttering in her palms, and soft pressure sinking to her wriggling toes.

 

she lays flat against her bed, 

camouflaged underneath her mother’s weary yet protective gaze,

a soft sigh escapes from her lips, her daughter with an empty belly and head full of clouds,

sound asleep in a universe crafted from her fingertips, 

she descends quietly down the wobbling stairs,

fourth night-shift of the week, thinking of the toothy manager 

who traces her wooden skin with copper pupils,

her keys fumble in the pocket of a blouse she purchased years ago,

the ones that were ripped and torn by the man who loves her 

with hands that etch itchy patches of turquoise pools on her skin,

with shards of bottles strewn across a greasy kitchen floor,

who comes home underneath a midnight crescent and forgotten stars

carrying drunken laugher in his rusty fingernails

and washed away yearnings in his shattered heart.

 

she ignites life into the engine of her father’s old honda, 

a cold breeze submerging into her oak bones,

and drives until powdery fog dissolves into hazy black skies

and her heartbeat slows to the moan of the dying air conditioner,

she looks up at the aging night, its large, speckled gray, apathetic dot hanging in the tepid air,

and wonders if there is another lighter, richer, more beautiful morning-walks-and-purple-skies-and-humming-bids-falling-in-love side to the moon,

that strokes its fingers through her daughter’s dreams

and drips like butter onto her son’s pale blue banket.