by Sally Rosen Kindred

There is no water on the moon.
No one can make love up there.
If you tried to pray you’d float away or die.

There is no spinning wheel
on the moon, no tender yarn
of skinstraw-gold

that winds into a dream of being warmed by wool,
no spinning there at all—
just the bony ground

that won’t dance for us, but turns
slowly as a sad child
grows. The stars around it sing

sharp as spindles.
Our flesh
is blunt ash and far.

No one goes there anymore.
We stay on earth, tell old tales—Briar Rose,
Rumplestiltskin. We watch

our children try to guess his name—
Sheepshanks, Spindleshanks—
their failures can’t fill

the dense mare frigoris, the seas
of flaked basalt
that scrape the throat. The child’s cry won’t seal

heaven’s stone hole. The sky demands
confession: I miss
the way my mother

would say moon,
I miss my brother’s corduroy arms
in the dark, his red

telescope. I miss feeling sure
of our hair, the yard’s night-lit moss, how
I knew the wings of the divine

were pale, dry, rounded,
a mother’s shoulders, white and lunar
on a cold night that needs contrails,

silver threads, to tell a story
of flight machines, explain a small body’s flight
in prayer. Praise the spindle. Praise

the drive wheel, praise
the peg, the mother-of-all—
O maria: praise

the cold, dry rivers of the moon.
They cannot know the rain
and they will not rise again.

SALLY ROSEN KINDRED is the author of two books from Mayapple Press, Book of Asters(2014) and No Eden (2011), and a chapbook, Darling Hands, Darling Tongue (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). She has received fellowships from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Linebreak, and Cave Wall.