Moon Landing 

That night, we snuck vodka in a yellow thermos,
sunk beneath your mother’s mimosa tree,  

feet tucked under, hands full of grass & weeds. 
I was foreign, exotic— 

black hair, pink blossoms, wide eyes, liquor tongue. 

We watched the moon land above the rows of houses,
cut valleys into the dark spaces, rise up from the bayou. 

It was never so close—
a body of dust dangled from some fine cord.   

We hung upside down, legs touching, fingers
collapsed into a lattice of sweat & nerves, 

our voices quiet in each other’s mouths. 

I shifted in my skin, felt a strange pulse
in our palms, knew the body was a wild territory,  

a surface we were unable to navigate. 

In this, we understood what it meant to be charted,
hands moving against the bright tableau of sky,  

toss of earth, our fault lines.




Royal Street, New Orleans
by Richard Stephens