The Weight of the Moon
The moon fell from the sky last Tuesday. I rolled her into the shed and gave her some water. Thank you, she said. Don’t you worry about it, I said. I patted her sorest-looking crater. I got some lotion and rubbed it on. Thank you, she said.
Everyone was so worried. The tides, they said. The rotation of the earth on its axis, they said. The migration of the birds, the turning of the seasons, the visibility at nighttime. Where is the moon? The end is nigh. Judgment is coming. Repent.
They don’t know how she breathed so shallow, or how afraid she was of empty space. I just want to stay a little while, she said. I’ll keep you company, I said.
I rolled her out when it was raining so she could know the rain. I rolled her out when it was cloudy so she could know the gray. I rolled her out when it was sunny and she wept.
I kept the moon in water and lotion and conversation. The earth began to suffer. I tried to keep her from finding out, but she knew anyway.
One day she told me she could not bear it anymore. I know I’ve caused this chaos, she said. I have to go home. I’ll keep you safe, I told her. You don’t have to go anywhere. You can stay with me. You’re a good boy, she said.
So I tied her to the end of a string. On a breezy day, I took her out and ran until the wind caught her and she soared into the sky. I ran until my thighs burned and my lungs ached. I ran until I could no longer feel the weight of the moon tugging against the line.