clair de lune

adagio sostenuto

We drove home together last night, under a crisp night sky that crinkled around the full moon’s edges. I can’t remember seeing it so sharply defined before. Perhaps the moon, after years of peeking through windows at pictures of itself displayed on fridges, hung over fireplaces, and stuck onto bedroom walls, had finally become convinced by the conviction of childhood that this was what it should look like: a 5 cent piece stuck center-perfect on black scribblings (sometimes midnight blue, when the black crayon had run out) that left gashes of yellowing newsprint open where a little hand had grown tired of colouring in. As I felt the roughness of the steering wheel with my hands, I could almost imagine how the reeded coin edges of the moon’s newfound identity was holding the night back from its usual embrace.

You were asking about my plans for the future – whether I’d be staying here forever, or moving along soon. Or, maybe you were talking about the movie we’d watched earlier. It could be that we just sat in silence, listening to Tracy Chapman’s voice fill the car. I can’t remember. It wasn’t important. The shifting moonlight had uncovered a dark shadow: my future was not with you, and your future was not with me.


near him
i glow
like the moon:

reflecting the Sun

presto agitato

It’s not your fault.
It never was.
It is the fault of a remembering heart.

I’m driving home in a silence that stretches on like the road in front of me. Tired of the hush of night, I switch the CD player on. It’s Tracy Chapman again, and as she starts, I can’t help but think of the last time I drove this way listening to this very song. The only difference is that you were still with me. But as she carries on, her words take me back further, past our past, and into memories of him: I’ve longed for you, and I have desired, to see your face, your smile, to be with you wherever you are . I glance outwards. A cloud is slowly drifting like a sheet of tracing paper across the quarter moon. The blurriness it brings reminds me of the photo kept in the shoebox under my desk: a filmy memento of a now distant moment. I used to know its details so well: how he’d tickled my arm a split second before the flash, pixelating our happiness all over a 4X6 we’d later laugh over. Stop. I switch off Tracy’s voice. There was no need to finish the rest of the song – I’d heard it all before. Looking out of the window again for something to distract me, I watch the cloud pass safely across the moon’s siren glow.  Just one more phase, the grinning Cheshire crescent, and then it’ll be new moon. I carry on in silence, ever closer to home.

~ by translating for peas on December 12, 2009.

2 Responses to “clair de lune”

  1. 😦

    beautiful. miserable. a brilliant piece of writing.

    i happen to also have memories of an old love attached to that tracy song. i loved how you mixed music into this. i love the coin image and the child.

    and i know what it’s like to stop the song.

  2. I love this, especially the moon (ah our moon) “becoming convinced
    by the conviction of childhood” Jaysus
    I so like checking back here, to yr site
    Keep on

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