By Katherine Larson Katherine Larson

For Max Rojas

Once a month
when the moon loses everything,
Don Max takes a chair
to the edge of the sea.
Black sand beach & green-backed heron.
The moon   
casts off her milkglass earrings.
I am nothing, she says, but black & white.
I keep losing my face.
Don Max feels for his pipe in his pocket.
Takes it, knocks it against his palm.
I am old! She cries. I get gooseflesh
in the dark. Don Max is looking for his tobacco.
Don Max has found a match.
You don’t know how hard it is
to come back from nothing.   
Don Max smiles & lights up.   
I keep making the same mistakes, she says.
I think you should leave me, she says.   
Through smoke, she watches Don Max
fold a strip of seaweed into a grasshopper.
Leave me for your own good! She demands.
Don Max has set the grasshopper in the sand.
Besides, I am too beautiful.   
She speaks it as though it makes her sad.
I’ll find other lovers. I will
forget you.

Source: Poetry (March 2006).


This poem originally appeared in the March 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

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March 2006
 Katherine  Larson


Katherine Larson is the author of Radial Symmetry (2011), selected by Louise Glück as the winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. She holds degrees from The University of Arizona and the University of Virginia. In addition to writing, she has worked as a molecular biologist and field ecologist.
In her introduction to Radial Symmetry, Louise Glück writes, “Larson’s repose is also a quivering suspension, in which multiple . . .

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