Monkey, Frog, and the Moon
Radiance Angelina Petro
Monkey sits in the darkness by a spring,
its crooked finger points at the moon.
Focus on the moon, frog says, sitting nearby,
forget the finger. The moon is the goal.
Monkey’s face grows silver. The moon is the goal,
repeats monkey over and over inside, until
the words become fingers directing its attention–
which floats away, ribboning a river of mist
through the branches of the trees, which also point
at the moon. And then–
a firefly alights on the tip of its finger, like
a lamp emerging from behind a shroud.
Monkey keeps its attention single-
mindedly on the moon–the goal.
Firefly flickers and winks it’s soft, green light.
And try as it might to not–monkey’s gaze drifts down
and down until, at last (as pieces of the moon flow away
in the spring), it rests on the fancy firefly blinking
its secret, flashing code. Monkey’s eyes became round—
rounder than the moon, and its mind becomes
an astonished, satisfied mind,
and frog widens its definitions of goal and moon,
and licks its lips, measuring the distance
between firefly and its glistening, opening mouth.