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Late Moon Analysis

Author: poem of Philip Levine Type: poem Views: 11

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2 a.m.

December, and still no moon

rising from the river.

My mother

home from the beer garden

stands before the open closet

her hands still burning.

She smooths the fur collar,

the scarf, opens the gloves

crumpled like letters.

Nothing is lost

she says to the darkness, nothing.

The moon finally above the town,

The breathless stacks,

the coal clumps,

the quiet cars

whitened at last.

Her small round hand whitens,

the hand a stranger held

and released

while the Polish music wheezed.

I'm drunk, she says,

and knows she's not. In her chair

undoing brassiere and garters

she sighs

and waits for the need

to move.

The moon descends

in a spasm of silver

tearing the screen door,

the eyes of fire

drown in the still river,

and she's herself.

The little jewels

on cheek and chin

darken and go out,

and in darkness

nothing falls

staining her lap.


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