Chad Redden

Andréia, Full Moon

The moon cannot be stolen

The moon cannot be stolen, only borrowed. Tonight, after your shift ends, I tell you about a surprise in the freezer. You hope it might be a pint of mint-chocolate chip ice-cream. You don’t notice the Moon resting on the bag of tater-tots, until I pull it out and place it in your cupped hands and then tell you how cold it was when I unscrewed it from the sky; how I was afraid it might melt, and that is why it was in the freezer. We sit on the couch and roll it from your hands to mine to yours again and then lick the wet trail it has left on our palms. You say it tastes sweet like sugar. I say it tastes like muddy snow. You hold it to your chest like a mouse, gently rocking it, and almost in tears. You ask if the tides will be affected. Yes, I reply. You sigh and then we go outside, and I climb on top of the trunk of the car to the roof, carefully. I stretch to reach the sky, and twist the moon like a light bulb back into place, and like a light bulb when it is firmly in the socket it turned on, blinding me for a second. The moon floats away, back to where it belongs in the night. Thank you, you tell me, thank you, again.

But we have so much sky to work with

Our mattress is a rocky foundation
and why we wake feeling as if we
haven’t wanted an ocean view as a
compromise a portrait of the great
cacti hung on your side of the bed
on the cold air at night hot air in the
day and you are unhappy I am asking
too much perhaps I am the night so
clear and silent you suppose that yes
it might be worth it in a few weeks
we will move the shoreline before the
water snatches our bed from beneath
us before we wake with water in our
mouths paddling as we do now pulling
at driftwood blankets to cover our skin

Only days that end with y

Most mornings are defined by songs played
at a volume that would grind most winds to
a halt those petty things disguised as plaster
walls full of dart holes no matter how much
plaster is injected into them they crumble and
maps can’t be kept in this apartment anymore
or crumbled lists or sidereal movements and
the sum affect of ocean currents on new songs
leave for work drive an hour inhale nicotine
then shower and shower and shower and shower

Prayer for an ’84 Ford Escort hatchback

If they have lived on plains
It is grass rolling
Under their feet forever.
— James Dickey, “The Heaven of Animals”

Lord, forgive us for we speak in low voices and do not wish the attention of the tow-truck driver or the manager of the restaurant where our car has sat for a week, becoming a joke passed among cooks and dishwashers.

Lord, forgive us for we do not know a prayer for an ’84 Ford Escort hatchback. Had we known any blessing, we’d have healed its cracked engine block and haggard transmission; the tow man would not have it hitched for a trip to the salvage yard.

Lord, we ask that you restore this car and replace the ruptured passenger side headlight, the shorted speaker wires, the stolen rear-view mirror, the spots of missing paint on its body that make it look like a dairy cow. Lord, forgive us for we do not know the breed of cow has spots like our car. Keep its interior clean and never again let it smell like old taco.

Lord, we ask that you create a road stretching forever before it, unbent by hills or stopped at ocean shores, so that this little Escort may accelerate to speeds never known in its lifetime.

May it forgive us for we do not know what this car could want from Heaven, for we were its poor stewards, hoping to make due, knowing it as scruffy thing puttering slowly, leaving a trail of black smoke upon Earth.


Chad Redden currently lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. His work has appeared  in analog and digital publications such as Angelic Dynamo, Biannicle, Fiore, SixSentences and [sic]. You can find him on Twitter here.