Together on the Moon
Your love lives on the moon. Your love is tethered, pale as bone dust. Says: You should come visit me on the moon. Counts moon rocks and craters, gazes at the stars.
There are so many stars, she says.
You take a string of lovers, gossamer wisps of girls. Candy-floss hair, brittle from over-dyeing. You take them back to your apartment, undress them in the moonlight. Cup their chins in your hand.
Diana, you call them. Artemis.
The best one is a girl who won’t stop looking at the moon while your tongue is inside her, hand dangling over the edge of your bed, comes in sharp gasps: oh, oh, oh.
She dresses slow before she leaves, slower than the rest, lingering, draping a tasseled shawl over her shoulders. Lets you kiss her neck, lets you bite hard enough to leave a mark.
So you won’t forget me, you say.
If you came to the moon, it wouldn’t be like this, says your love. We could be together on the moon.
How? you say. How could I get to the moon?
Your love doesn’t have an answer, only says: Oh, couldn’t you try? and her voice is as dry as the surface of the moon.
You meet girls in bars, girls who like whiskey, girls who like wine. Drink amaretto sours, rum and cokes, and smile too easily, these girls, with grins like moonlight.
You say to them: I would pull the moon out of the sky.
You say: I would change the tides.
The girls you meet in bars blush, brush their lips against yours, say: Are you going to take me home?
From the window of your apartment, you can see the moon. It is pale and round and close enough to touch.
In the alley below, there is a garden of broken glass. Shards from thrown wine bottles, shattered windows, the streetlight you have broken over and over again, too bright to see the moon.
You have stood in the blossoming glass, have pledged your love there. In the whisper-thin moonlight: I love you. I love you.
Why do you keep looking out the window? your lovers ask.
You say: Did you know that, long ago, the moon used to have air?
They say: Oh, you know so many things about the moon.
They say: Oh, the moon looks so very large tonight.
When Cathy Ulrich was a child, there was a huge pile of broken glass in the hills behind her house. She and her brother played in it for hours, came home reeking of stale wine. Cathy's stories have been published in various journals, including Frigg, Wigleaf and Cleaver.