Mining the Moon

So the Chinese
want to mine the moon
–for helium, no less–
to fuel fusion reactors!
(You cannot make
this stuff up.)

I watched the moon tonight,
membraneous in its
swirling ocean of stars,
rising between the houses
of my street like Lazerus.

Pulling on its sky oars,
setting sail without compass or map
as it always does,
making its way
across the window lattice in my bedroom
to landfall
behind the hills to the west,
its sizzling molecules of helium
intact for the journey
tomorrow.

Some Chinese engineer
will see it shortly
while pulling off his pants
after a long day at the computer.
Setting his glasses on the nightstand
in a pool of silvery light
after a dinner of dim sum, no doubt,
to dream of landing a mining rig
or an armchair
or a circus tent with baleful clowns
on the rim of the moon’s biggest crater
and looking up to watch the earth rise
bluer than any tide pool
full of writhing anemones
and awkward ideas.

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