by Daniel McGinn

Today was sheltered
in a marine layer, we waded through
a sea without shadows.

Today I made a donation
for the funeral of a friend
killed by a drunk driver.

Tonight I watched a mouse escape from my dog.
I watched pink feet and black fur blur across concrete.
Tonight I saw the moon
poke its head out from the clouds
a black mist began rising up like a cape
to cover the chin, the lips, the teeth…

Lori asked me,
Does the moon always show us the same face
or does it sometimes show us other faces?
I don’t know, I said and we marveled
at how clouds had misshapen the moon’s skull.
It looked dented and pockmarked.
It looked like it had been kicked
and kicked repeatedly.

Feral kittens under my house began to yowl.
My dog ran zigzags
and barked and barked and barked.
A mouse squeezed her body into a hole in a brick wall,
a tight passage, small as a pencil spine,
then the mouse was gone.

No lights twinkled.
The moon turned dark as a dime
dropped down a slot.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel McGinn’s work has appeared in the OC Weekly, Next Magazine, and other publications. His full-length collection of poems, 1000 Black Umbrellas, is available from Write Bloody Press. He is currently a student in the low-residency MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. He and his wife are natives of Southern California. They have three children, five grandchildren, and a very good dog. “June Moon” and other writing by Daniel McGinn will appear in the Silver Birch Press SUMMER ANTHOLOGY — a collection of poetry and prose by over 70 authors from around the world — available in June 2013.

PAINTING: “Under the Silver Moon,” Chinese ink and color on Korean paper by James Tan. Find the painting online at