Fall 2010 / Issues / Poetry 2010 / Volume 41

Moon and Freckle — Nick Bertelson


Now it’s summer in our separate rooms,

where in mine night renders the spackled drywall

a constellation-like map of your freckles;

so does your light

make you think of my bellybutton?


Doubts. I have them.


You said, The sea always drinks the sun,

but in the orchard, with myths of Newton and Eve

threading new fruit onto old branches,

your cider sparkled like Goldschläger;

your foot in the crotch of a tree–

where trunk becomes branch,

your mouth shaping the fruit of sin

into crescent moons.


After apple after apple

fell half-eaten from your hand.

you had the sticky one in my hair,

the other in grass

grabbing at it like a bed sheet beneath you;

then two handfuls of soil later,

and an exhale to answer the wind

you slept as if under glass,

the cords in your neck writhing

like a curtain full of wind.


Without your freckles in my peripherals,

I read stars like braille for questions,

but I only want to know

who it is

putting the dirt beneath your fingernails nowadays.

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