Full Lunar Eclipse and Sea Shell

When I hold this shell to the light
it’s the same color as the moon
on the night of its eclipse,
smoky orange the meat of a salmon
or young trout caught leaping
against the black sky

That night we walked together
to find an emptiness
between pockets of glowing streetlights,
a space we could fill with just ourselves
and our wonder,
a space where we could stand a quarter million miles tall
and touch that softly glowing rock

The dog followed us, expectant, alert
wondering why we came out if not to walk,
if not to explore the earth and all it holds close
to itself, within reach of an attentive nose

But our heads were turned up, our eyes
the openings through which the world
would speak to us

Later, I turn the shell around between my fingers;
On the inside it shines like some precious gem
or glazed pottery.
When I hold it close to my nose
I can almost smell dirt, earth, some long-ago life
that once crawled deep in an undersea canyon.
With it cupped over my ear, I listen
for the tides, its ocean birthplace

But what I hear instead is the earth’s shadows
gliding across the heavens to fill
the valleys and craters of the moon

Now it’s the night after the eclipse, the sky
is much lower, clouds hang barely above treetops
and I watch the dog’s joy
as he shows me his world,
one rediscovery after another.