From the deep end of the unlit
parking lot the full moon looks
savory as a macaroon. Clouds
too thin to conceal anything
sweep along, drooling snowflakes
that burst against my upturned face.
You prefer waiting in the light
cast from the shelter doorway.
We’re planning to adopt a cat,
but because of the pandemic
the shelter can accommodate
only one couple at a time.
The cold shrugs through me with sobs
of self-pity. Two dumpsters loom
in the dark, green steel, monumental,
Egyptian with emphatic form.
We’ve already lost our turn
to an eager young pair
so cat-hungry we have to question
their mutual sanity. You watch
through the glass door as they fuss
over paperwork, their forty-dollar
adoption fee already laid out
in plain cash on the counter.
I’d rather watch the moon leer
through the vague and restless sky.
It often illuminates body parts
daylight hardly ever encounters.
Not tonight, though. Too cold
for noodling in parked pickup trucks
or lying in grass by the river.
At this far end of February
snow sulks two feet deep in meadows.
The ice on the lakes is thick enough
to discourage even fisherfolk
who arrive with gas-powered drills.
You gesture for me to join you
inside the shelter where a cat
lately abandoned needs us
to encourage a healthy appetite
and growth of a richer pelt.
The moon looks too aloof to notice
whether I’m watching it or not.
Willing to transcend my species,
I follow you indoors where
the brilliant lamplight washes away
the worst of my sinful thinking.
William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He has taught at several colleges and universities. His most recent book of poetry is Mist in Their Eyes (2021). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in various journals.