back in my day our music drilled into the back of our heads at odd hours of the nights and cut loose our hearts from logic for an hour shelthered in mute exploration of wounds we never knew scarred over

a return; HK; mid-autumn festival; 2008

the moon disappeared from the sky between the hours of 6:30 and 6:35

I know because I had been staring at it
yellow as an egg yolk
round as a marshmallow
floating in the sky on midautumn’s eve

they say there is a man in the moon
a woman in the moon
who cradles a rabbit
or maybe the rabbit cradles the woman
or the rabbit pounds rice for the man in the moon
while the woman watches from her tower
quilting clouds and mist
or maybe there is no rabbit
no woman
no man
just the pure yellow of a mooncake
sweet and sticky like candlelit peanut butter
and day old manju at midnight

I have seen this moon from lantern-top beaches
and three am bus rides
eyes cloudy from vodka and sleep
head swaying in the haze of the midautumn festival
nannies chattering in the darkness
wayfaring teenagers contemplating their bookbags
an entire city that lights up the bay with three dollar candles
and illuminated tissue paper that floats in the wind

the moon followed me from beach to bus to the rooftop of my dorm
until I turned my back and it was gone
faded behind a veil of mountains and mist
smiling in secrecy
as it fell from my sight