I maintained the gears of the moon as a university job. On my empty days, I polished the levers, tightened the cranks and ensured there was enough oil to guarantee a smooth rise. At night, the company had a whole team on standby for the show, but during the day I was left alone with the machinery, inside a vast and echoing warehouse. My jobs did not take very long. I was a glorified security guard. Most of my shift passed in the staff room, deep under the surface, surrounded by the whirr and sigh of complex systems I could barely understand. I ate my tuna sandwiches, read terrible sci-fi novels, listened to music on my half broken walkman held together by duct tape and watched money for my studies crawl up in a ticker inside my head.
If I was bored, I would walk out onto the dark side of the moon. Of course, we weren’t allowed near the sculpted craters, the mountains formed of foam or the ten thousand floodlights. I would hold my breath and listen to the nothing, lose myself in the expanse of grey and silence. At these times, I liked to picture myself from above, a dot, barely visible, less than a smudge, a single cell on an infinite, sterile petri dish. I always breathed out too soon.
Every poet needs at least one moon poem.