You've seen only a planed circle of moon,
the white wafer; the low sky's flat penny
grow into that dime, flipped in the turn
taken by the earth,
until you see
what's won from behind its veil of brightness
by the lunar eclipse
a red marble,
a pinball of blood and it's your shot, a ball
of red clay before its pinch into a bowl,
what I want to say and its look
that far away from it.
I want to say it suddenly
turns three dimensional with shadow
shaded in at the drawn
and that darkness
makes shape-informed light clearer rounding out
midnight, and moon,
once it is that lighted ball,
falls above a night now floored with depth
so dark above you you can feel the feet
and meter fill with time. New Years confetti each
speck's fall a galaxy ago back into space.
Space back into space restored beneath the moon
to here in the shading of eclipse. The distances.
We have to feel the spatial in what we see
to see clearly the eye measure in hands and feet;
as when we kiss,
distance disappears, our eyes close,
and we see bodily
in raised detail
a measure deepen into our world
in each other. And what we are
in the shadow the world makes
of our love, by this earth shine, we see
ourselves whole, see in whole perspective.
* * *
Poem reprinted from Poetry Society of America's Awards Ceremony program,
in which Yusef Komunyakaa was awarded the 2008 Shelley Memorial Award.
All Rights Reserved.