Josh Bettinger

Thanksgiving, Twothousandsomething

Two moons set inside of me at night—
a mound soft and full

of film, streaks against the wet sky featured
like a spotlit marquee
of maybe trees.

We wanted more, purchased
less, worked at the roots with an axe.

The way things work
is that they often do not—secretly paradise falls
so much so
that its water becomes

swimless in the light of release.
Two moons set
against themselves untie themselves.

Do we go out with those selves in the night
or will the dreams slouch

in silence as cars
move through the unlit city like dancers without faces
evacuating a stage.

Death enters and we feel his weight
as we sit down to dinner.

The way things work
is that we maybe get lucky—the heart is a thumb
built for grabbing and closing
but for all the things

in the world there is only us in this room
and I don't want to reveal that I'm the internet.

Two moons are yellow zebras running
up your leg in the sheet
and the boy and the girl move—bounding again
back from sleep—

into our lives as if
all our broken people ever had a chance
and we careen silently
back into the soft darkening of it all.


Josh Bettinger is a poet and editor living in Northern California. He is the author of the chapbook, A Dynamic Range Of Various Designs For Quiet, from GASHER. Recent publications include Salt Hill Journal, Western Humanities Review, Handsome Poetry, SLICE, flock, Columbia Journal, Atlas Review, Crazyhorse, and Boston Review, among others. He lives in Northern California with his wife and kids.