Jeff Friedman

Luna Moth

I thought it was a bat, looking for trouble,
but it was only a luna moth, clutching the screen.
When it settled on my pillow, closing its wings,

I left the room and waited for it to fly out
but it remained in the cavity of my pillow
until I slipped a piece of cardboard

under the speckled body.
Then in anger it flew wildly through the rooms of our house,
a blessing gone awry, and before I could swat it

it vanished into some crack or
hidden place. Then I lay down again
and waited for you to open your eyes

but you gripped the sheets and held fast to sleep,
and the luna moth scudded through our bedroom, reading
my horoscope on the dust of the blinds.

The Survivors

They come back with wool sweaters
and coats smelling of straw and shit

smoking their old cigars
ashes flaking from chin and cheeks.

They come back with glistening shells
pain in their joints — rooms of water.

Salt glittering on their lips
they walk on rock

where fish gasp and choke
and stars cluster in sand.

Sun rains into the abyss.
They come back with ruined hands and backs

hurling coins across oceans
building bridges with knots and fists

digging up cities of corpses
rotting under the rainbow

as doves fly out of their pockets
scavenging the carnage.

Jeff Friedman is a contributing editor to Natural Bridge and a core faculty member in the MFA program in Poetry Writing at New England College. His fourth collection of poetry, Black Threads, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2007. His poems and translations appear in journals such as Agni Online, American Poetry Review, Cortland Review, 5 AM, Margie, The New Republic, North American Review, and Poetry, as well as here in 2RV. contact


13.3 (Spring 2009)   The 2River View AuthorsPoemsPDFArchives2River

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