Phase
Mark DeCarteret


As I stutter through Orion’s studded belt, the moon’s figuring less.
And with every star spoken for, the moon’s figuring even less.

Each night some god pans to this window and knows just by the breath
I have left how long I have knelt and how the moon is figuring less.

For after the dark and light sparred, all who’d sung to one side of the sky
felt the sting of the sun as it was done with or had dealt with the moon figuring less.

But soon the day will no longer dog me, when I’ve gone too far south
to be sounded by its mouth and be melted like some moon figuring less.

Love, this sauce could use a little something. And the wine has seen too much of time.
For even if there were seven of me, in your eyes this moon’s figuring oh so less.






Mark DeCarteret’s work has appeared in many publications, including AGNI, Boston Review, Caliban, Chicago Review, and Conduit, as well as several anthologies, including American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon Press) and Under the Legislature of Stars: 62 New Hampshire Poets (Oyster River Press), which he also co-edited. His book, Flap, is due out with Finishing Line Press this May. He is currently Poet Laureate of Portsmouth New Hampshire. Please check out his Postcard Project .