by Jack Cooper

The Earth held tight to what it had been given;
those clear skies, that startling life.
It held me to be a woman, gravity-bound.
Wife with no husband, mother to the stars.
A goring crescent.
Sharp slice of lithium consuming itself.

I was Selene and Sina, stray Chang’e,
a goddess dissolving on the night’s tongue
like sherbet.

The Earth grips more loosely now,
the ice and forest lost.
It watches me – milky stain
on the sky’s miasma –
asking why I leave.
Why I still come back.