New Moon


How strange that it’s all based on the sighting
of the slightest
sliver of the moon!
The whole sky veils it then, only the
curved edge, like the
rim of a silver glass, can be
barely seen, yet it

signals the
beginning and
end of the Fast!

We go out looking for it, but what we’re
looking for is only a
thin rind of light, no big

structure of stars or full-moon’s totally
visible target, nor yet the

biliously glowing fireball of the
sun, but only the
hair-curve of that
dead reflective body, magnetic
mirror companion to earth, pocked
corpse of weird desolation, to us

brilliant Klieg when bulbous, but such a

spectral delicacy when new, so

furtive in so much
sundown (where it usually

is at the
start and
end of each
lunar month), and it is this

subtlety we are commanded to
seek, this beautiful
uncertainty, known for sure really

only by God, that

signals to us

as clear a renunciation of
earth-life as death is, as

clear a reflection of our sliver-thin

mortality as not
eating is, so that our

days are made more
transparent on earth, so that we

too are made

more transparent.

(from Ramadan Sonnets)

Categories: Poems, Ramadan / 'Eid

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