Galileo Galilei was first to look at me, declared me ‘smooth’. Since then, I’ve borne the gaze of many men. The Soviets hit on me. The impact hurt, but the photographs they sent back hurt more—too intimate, my dark side …
You kept probing, collecting information about my surface, history. You sent missions to survey my habits, came and went, left your rubbish. I don’t want to talk about Apollo, but let me mention Pioneer, Ranger, Surveyor, Zond, Luna 1 to 9. Bored, you sent in robots—Rover, Lunokhods, Clementine, Prospector, Chang’e from China, MUSES-A, a Japanese machine, and Chandrayaan from India. Now you have the best moon map ever. There’s talk of mining.
Never satisfied. Soft landings raise my dust.
Why this invasion of my privacy? I give to earth such worldly gifts. You men are never satisfied. I am your natural satellite, your night sky light, regulate your tides, and besides, I guide humanity with a calendar of months and for your pleasure dance my endless dance—wax and wane in phases, crescent, gibbous moon … so low maintenance. And though some people call me pockmarked, I show the same happy face, pull you gently, slow your rotation, increase your days a little every century while I take nothing in return, except a bit of distance each year
to get away from you!
It’ll take some time, I know. Meanwhile, I confess, the wobble in your axial tilt is my doing—the trade off for you is four seasons, a more or less stable climate that you do your best to fuck
now you know about my water traces—
mere tears for all the years I’ve put up with your abuse. I’ve come to like eclipses best—short respites from your constant eyes, your prying, dreams of mining
I’ve been called a bowl of fire, a mirror reflecting your perfection, but I’m like ice, a mere reflection of the sun. How I wish the sun would turn your head.
K A Nelson
K A Nelson is a Canberra poet who published her first collection, Inlandia (Recent Work Press) in 2018. She has won or been shortlisted in many awards in Australia, enjoyed collaborations with artists, and published widely. She recently had two gigs at the Emerging Writers’ Festival in Melbourne.