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Half moon in the pale blue sky
is half the moon it used to be.
Bobbing like this isn't like what it was
with the apples.
I suffer. We all suffer now
from seasickness.

I still can't believe we went there.
I still can't believe we went back to Dad's
after all that time. We're a long way from home now.
The moon, full, like Jeff Buckley sang,
as a plate, she is a long way from home. But here we are in Pennsylvania,
a land where no more miracles grow.
Whatever it means to be "in."

Forests are no longer cast here.
I feel a mounting pressure in my orbit.

There is a sign:
If you see anything defying reason, any spell unspun,
do like Nike said and just do it.
"Do" meaning "shoot."
If you see anything black,
do like Nixon said and just shoot it.
"Shoot" meaning "burn."

All resemblance to real folk,
be they ter- or mer-,
is completely unintended.

(Falsehoods, I learned, indicate truth one way or another.)

Because no one can tell,
the best place to cry is underwater.

The keystone state is turning into a mermaid.
Soon it will reside underwater.
One day all states will be
great places to cry.



Matt Alexander is a scientist and writer in Philadelphia. When struck by insight, he shouts “Bazinga!,” not “Eureka!,” although he has nothing against Archimedes and is in fact himself an avid bath-taker. His short stories and poems have been featured in Maudlin House, Flapperhouse, After the Pause, and others. You can follow him on Twitter at @thenamesmatta.
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11 Oct 2021

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