Moonrise, Salt Lake City: December 26, 2015


It looks, for all the world, like the holy ghost
in an early Renaissance annunciation:
a light-struck, light-emitting dove in flight.
But there’s no Mary. No Gabriel. It’s night;
the moon’s taking an unexpected breather,
a bit too out of shape to slither past
this mountain I hadn’t seen was here,
its outlines newly visible as wings
(what’s showing of the moon itself’s the head).
Don’t worry, moon. We all lose our bearings;
why this urge to rise? Stay here instead.
I’ll spot you; we could both use an ally
and rumor has it disorientation
is the least resistant pathway to what’s holy.


Jacqueline Osherow is the author of seven collections of poetry, and has received grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She is a distinguished professor of English at the University of Utah.

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