the moon is an old man, did you know
with a cigarette nestled comfortably
in the corner of his mouth
and the smoke of the man of the moon are the
clouds, candy white
on the silk-satin sky

she points this out, with the air of a queen
as if she were to tell me
of zeus and hera or
akenhaten, or
the stockmarket or barack obama or
the way to wear a shawl
she says the man of the moon is lonely
but nobody knows because
nobody cared to ask

why is he lonely, i inquired, she laughed
and said well
insomnia isn't
a party every night
i agree, yes
it is a lonely thing
like when you first discover
that the fascinating set of tiles
all have the same pattern

or when old jokes are the only
things that make you feel at home, she continues
taking my cigarette and
crushing it beneath her heel
those are bad for you, she says, setting the
line of vision between us in concrete
i know, i say, i know, i know

they will give me blood clots and lung cancer and yellow teeth and
bad breath and
i will turn to nicotine and
get hooked on that too and
i will never become unhooked i
may as well become a hooker

nah, she says, and her
laughter reminds me of water-birds and petal-bells
it's bad for you because
it'll make you lonely
like the guy up there
oh yes, i reply, wondering why i was not mad
i spent the last of my on-hand cash
on that cigarette