Kaguya

Jacob Pritchett

          January 29th, 1722


On a carrack nearing Boston Harbor, I gaze

at the moon and agree with most that

life exists there as it does here

on this trodden, soiled world.


In 10th Century Japan, a bamboo cutter first

gazed upon his daughter—Kaguya,

who rose from the stalk a princess

who called her faraway kingdom the moon.


Perhaps if then, we could meet such

wonders on the desolate white waste,

we would intend to conquer.

Is it not improbable?


The Emperor sought Kaguya’s hand

in matrimony, stalking her beauty,

as Orion once set his eyes on virgin Artemis,

until her cosmic ancestors returned.


And if the cosmic pluralists of the Old World

say those farther from the sun’s hellfire

live in salvation, while Mercurians and Venusians,

immobilized by blisters, are but sinful statues,


what then of Princess Kaguya and her subjects?

Shifting in and out of fire, dancing around

our ruthless planet in a manic-

depressive cycle—sin and salvation.


Perhaps we are to enslave and become enslaved.

Perhaps the moon’s children know

of Earthling tendencies,

decided that they were unsafe from our lunacy.


And so, every year, the moon creeps further away from

its blue sister, inching like a frightened child.

When once the moon joined Earth in matrimony,

It presumed us her equal.


As I sail from the Old World, I pray they know

that Our ambition is wide enough to

eclipse the stars until they’re swallowed

in our insatiable shadow.

Spring, 2019 Issue

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