Monkey, Frog, and the Moon, by Radiance Angelina Petro

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.






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