Movies used to tell me of a man
who lives on the moon,
and if you look closely,
you can see his face
engraved in the stone that orbits ours.
I used to wonder why he preferred it up there.
Although I didn’t need glasses back then
my eyes were not quite telescopes.
It was ridiculous to expect me to peer into space
and note the facial hair on our solar system’s
version of Mount Rushmore,
much less catch a glimpse of a humanoid organism
who lived on the tidally-locked rock.
But the need for oxygen and size issues notwithstanding,
the terrifying image of a stranded astronaut
with a grudge against the country
that left him there (and a parting gift of
an arsenal of mirrors at his command
to harness the power of sunlight)
ruined my chances of ever getting a good nights sleep.
As comforting as it may be to have
a giant pair of ancient space eyes
watching over the races of earth,
the emotionless visage I saw
when looking up was nothing but
the grim reaper’s bony face,
gazing into my window to see
if I was ripe enough to harvest.
My childhood was spent as a little boy
who was horrified to go to the bathroom at night
in case my little toe would happen to
brush by a moonbeam.
Stepping on a crack is one thing,
but I was deathly afraid of what might happen
if I slipped on a ray of La Luna.
Each evening, I would try to escape,
either retreating into fairy tales of Peter Pan
where stardust cancelled out
the power of the moon,
or (in case of suspicious parents crept in
to doom me with their good intentions)
by leaving a set of pillows covered in my bed,
and attempting to run to Neverland by foot.
Before I undertook the job of
a hamster on a wheel of time
(with sunflower seeds just out of his reach),
trying to beat the rotation of the earth
and see only sunlight,
I had to pack a snack for the long journey.
Inevitably the meal would be my downfall
and my parents would find me in the morning
asleep in the kitchen floor
with an opened jar of peanut butter in one hand
and silly straw in the other.