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by John Brooks


David arrived late,

with his looping earrings

and an old machete.

Roland and I had eyes

already on constellations.

In a simple gesture, David

cut the moon

so it fell into a trio

of luminous slices

and we held them

until our palms were

scorched. In unison, we

flung them skyward, nightward,

and they coalesced into that familiar

white sphere, and we swore

to each other that we wouldn’t

forget but it’s too soon

to know if we did.

In the morning, all of us—

nineteen and shirtless and eager—

took the canoe onto the lake

to spot the rumored

ospreys and the weapon

just lay there in the hull,

its dull blade pristine,

no residue, no memory,

nothing glowing.


John Brooks is a painter, poet, and curator based in Louisville, Kentucky. His visual work has been exhibited around the United States, including solo exhibitions in 2022 in New York and Los Angeles. His poetry has been published in Assaracus, Plainsongs, and North by Northeast.


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