Mary-Alice Daniel
Ode to Our Unnamed Moon


MOON and its dark star of calamity.

MOON like moths: twilight- and night- flying white moths.

MOON with half-suicidal/half-sexual affect.



Unimpressed, Islamic nations won’t standardize a lunar calendar.

Should we bother to name it soon? A Copernican principle insists

there is nothing at all special about Earth’s little corner of universe—


moon      stars      sunshine      everything      else…


Yet in our orbit, Neil Armstrong claims he heard the Adhan—the call

to prayer—thus converting. First man bowing from Moon toward Mecca.

Did he think to recheck his horoscope? Astrology is anthropocentric:


So, constellations appear entirely different anywhere other than Earth

—Pick any moon; Planet that is a diamond; Planet of inaudible hum.

Tethered to this planet of escalating nonsense, I prefer homemade prophecy:


I browse Bibles, pushing pins in random verses, turning scripture into policy.

Call it insurance against a god who seems to be “seeing how things go.”

Personally, I choose to believe I hold death in my pouch—I can not die.


Found In Volume 48, No. 05
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  • Mary Alice Daniel
Mary-Alice Daniel
About the Author

Mary-Alice Daniel was born in Nigeria and raised in England and Nashville. After attending Yale University, she received her MFA in Poetry from the University of Michigan. Her poems have appeared in Iowa Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Hayden's Ferry Review, Callaloo, and several anthologies, including Best New Poets 2017.

Her adopted home is Los Angeles, where she is completing her debut poetry collection and earning a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California.