The First Surviving Photograph of the Moon

(John Adams Whipple, 1852)

Pale mammogram, curved
horizon emerging out of an indigo
mist, you don't bother with time
as a calculation mediated by glass
plates, metal pistons, telescope
lenses. Tonight, even stars long
expired are swallowed again
in silvered corridors of water.
I swim in the oldest river there is.
There is no lack of sorrow here,
there is no lack of that particular
desire to never be forgotten.
But whenever I open my mouth,
only the grainy contours
register; what I mean to say is,
love floats like a blue speck,
transient and eternal,
through the drifting universe.

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