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Another Time, This Same Moon - D. R. James

Another time, this same moon,

which free-hands its flat arc across

a fathomless slate of nighttime sky,

supplied so much duplicitous reason

that the warmest stretch ever of

endless kissing seemed also to signal

an endless love. Have others believed

in such infinite moments? Maybe the fire

and the jazz and the lips touching

just right? The palm of conversation

folding in whatever tender confidence

came to mind? No way, back then,

could that peaceful walk at dusk—

the slow sun tingeing stray clouds pink

over a tiny inland lake—have led

to the sorry war to come, the saddest

set of regrets that still colors

my occasional wandering. How could

once watching waves etching a shore

have also meant the meanest goodbye

would eventually roll its own way in?

How could catching together

the brilliance of high light glancing

among bright white slopes have groomed

a final run so treacherous, so doomed? How

did such intimacy simply disappear

by the end of my life’s finest week?

Do you remember yours—remember

right now—this loveliness before rejection

recklessly re-bursts your re-built heart?


D. R. James, a year+ into retirement from nearly 40 years of teaching college writing, literature, and peace studies, lives, writes, and cycles with his psychotherapist wife in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan. His latest of ten collections are Mobius Trip and Flip Requiem (Dos Madres Press, 2021, 2020), and his prose and poems have appeared internationally in a wide variety of print and online anthologies and journals.

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