New Moon Newton

            God is Change,
            And in the end,
            God prevails.
            But meanwhile . . .
            Kindness eases Change.
            Love quiets fear.

                        —Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Talents

whole patterns of them
rocking around in the radiant arena
above and around our heads
on a night when the wind
sang like a scream
and the deer stood frozen
as a statue of itself
the sky was dark because
la luna had finished revealing themself
and was not yet ready to 
begin again

and I get it now:
a stanza is like a little frame

and the frame is a little crooked 

calls from the road and we talk
I walk 
so briefly we together
move from our faraway states
synced perhaps by the clap
of hooves and burning oil
and the telephone can be a line
like any other wire

so can I say it:
love frightens me
the matter it contains
the speed the direction
even words of thanks
at the reference desk
from a patron
gracias, amor
haunt me in the quiet places . . .

but if “god is change” 
then is it god who sent my matter
hurtling back into the open open

can anybody tell me how to contain it

even the moon
on a calendar stacked
fluxes away and comes back

striking disclosure
arrives in flashes

Copyright © 2023 by Oliver Baez Bendorf. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 1, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.