Memory as the Moon

(Water Colour by David Chorlton)

The moon was once a cactus flower
opening in the sky. Its scented light
turned deserts blue, and arroyos tasted
of monsoon. Water sang
the long slope down
from stars to basins hollowed out
by passing time
in stone where every jaguar
who found water left
its reflection floating. And through
the pine-oak shadows
on a mountain pulling free
of gravity the free-tailed bats
flowed fast as memory
sliding down a lightning flash
with every last bone shining
through the skin stretched
on its wings.

David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems often reflect his affection for the natural world. A new book of older poems, Unmapped Worlds, is out from FutureCycle Press. He recently took up watercoloring again, after twenty dry years. Read other articles by David.