I would like to report the Man on the Moon is gone

Making reference to the Man on the Moon one class students are oddly silent and meeting a few blank stares, finally: Do I mean Armstrong? No, the face, you see it—hesitating—when the moon is full? They are suspicious. They have seen full moons, lots of full moons, a flipping card deck of full and faceless moons.

I resent the abrupt wipe from that far surface and glare back. It’s no great loss, I expect, a few
deeper shadows etched in an already pitted surface but I watch with regret as he merrily rolls
down a dirty grate and drops through the gutter vernacular.

Hollow to intone when I was young meaning lasted longer but seizing on the word saffron, the
mystic dust that coats the tongue, declare: as reckless fear is to careless so feckless is the filch of the smaller bones—the haste you scatter them to make way.

No more than sounds soon, accidental slips without lilt. They gaze back politely,
I mutter, full moonfaced. And as cumbersome as an archive I wonder for perhaps the hundredth time this academic term for how much longer my jaw up and down the glottal stops and explosive gist will hold to sense.

About the Author:
Gina L. Vallis currently lives and works in California. In addition to playing the fiddle, her oil
paintings have appeared as cover art for various publications. Previously published poetry can be found in Muddy River Poetry Review and Wordriver Literary Review. She teaches a variety of university courses in rhetoric and semiotics, and has published academic articles and a text on critical thinking and writing.