The first moon hangs in the sky
like an artist’s fancy, floodlit,
changing position, changing aspect,
showing off its mood and hue:
this moon craves attention, seeks to bathe
in light, wants your upturned face.
The second moon is shy,
demurs to the first and flees the sky,
lodges itself in the sparkle
of your lover’s eye — if you have
a lover, if she has an eye: this moon
is no moon to read by.
The third moon is a far-off sliver,
a crusty rind that deigns to show itself
only when so inclined:
this moon finds little favor with the sun,
wobbles in its orbit like a drunkard
in the night, avoiding lamp-posts or other light.
How grave the gravity of these three!
What perturbations, what unwitting havoc
they wreak upon Tenoa’s tides —
and yet, how unimaginable a world
with placid seas, and no capricious moons
to sing serenades by.