Turn avenue to street—Houston Street in the late
afternoon. My long shadow drags along. Even the sky
hangs low and needs a shave. The sun is shining red
on my back, and there’s the moon looking like a clock perched
on a building. The lower part of the eastern sky is lying
face down on the lower part of the East River.
But what science is this that school kids find kicking
in the gutter? They teach themselves to face their shadows
to see the moon in daylight, the sun behind them also
facing the moon. It all goes around. The afternoon fades
out into evening, that blue getting bluer and going
black in the sky. And kids growing up to be me.
I drag my shadow farther, stand on my toes. The moon
dims out behind my rising shadow—my head the same imperfect
planetary sphere. The day reasserts itself through me,
erasing the white spot from the powdered blue firmament.
But I can only outrun the moon for moments. Soon
it is shifting upward and out, pulling darkness behind.
And what cares do children have for a lunar eclipse?
It passes them by without notice. It doesn’t care to make itself
known, and they have other experiments to write. Look
at the street lamps—they too look large lit against the blue.
I do not know enough science to say how the eye adjusts.
I only know my route, and that the sun is my subtle agent.